Published: 04th July 2019
Union Budget 2019: Is the government planning to control the data you consume?
The survey suggests that merging the data sets that the government has will be beneficial for all
The whole nation has Jio and free or cheap internet and no free time. With 118.34 crore telephone connections and smartphones in every pocket and purse, whoever owns the content or data that is being distributed obviously has an upper hand. In the 'Economic Survey of India 2018-19', published on July 4, the government shares its plans to create data as a public good within a "legal framework of data privacy".
The survey suggests that the government must be a part of creating these datasets and also intervene on some instances to create data as a public good — "especially for the poor and in social sectors". So, what does this mean? Even though it might seem confusing, it really isn't. If this plan goes through, we will have online content being circulated by the government departments and every department will have a content creation branch to create that content which will hopefully be a notch above the ones publishing the unappealing annual reports. It is an attempt to make people stop and take notice of the work the government is doing or plans it has for the coming years. Online content is consumed more and is easy to circulate thus this might be a step forward.
But the problem arises when we get to the part about government intervening to help the "poor". We can only hope that the government does not take this as an opportunity to spread fake news or propagate propaganda because if this policy is implemented it will give the government the right to control any data that you consume.