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‘Flexibility to revoke consent will be the norm in digital infrastructure’

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New Delhi: A mechanism to revoke consent to share data will be the norm in the future for consumers using digital services, said Keshav Reddy, founder of Equal Identity Private Ltd., a technology company.

India’s data protection law, the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act 2023, allows users to withdraw consent they gave for sharing their data, Reddy said in his address at the Mint Digital Innovation Summit 2024 in Mumbai on Friday. Equal was complying with this law even before the rules were prescribed, Reddy said.

“The DPDP Act will actually give opportunities, where I as a customer will be able to say, I don’t want to share this data anymore, so that will happen,” Reddy said.

A consent revocation layer is similar to the account aggregator mechanism in financial services, Reddy said. Under the DPDP law, there is a possibility of a consent manager licence, he said. “We are a consumer-first consent platform,” Reddy said.

Reddy’s company Equal accesses data from India Stack for services like verification of IDs in employee onboarding or lending. The Hyderabad-based company can access every industry, every use-case, and every ID, because of India Stack, he said.

India Stack acts as a marketplace for software services that private companies can use to build products. It provides access to software like e-KYC (Know Your Customer) in Aadhaar, DigiLocker, and UPI (Unified Payments Interface). Private companies like Digiotech Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Karza Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Signzy Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and Handy Online Solutions Pvt. Ltd. also provide their software on the platform, as per the India Stack website.

Comparison with GDPR

India’s data protection law is different from its global counterparts, Reddy said. The GDPR, the European Union’s data protection law, is more privacy-focused, and the DPDP law is more governance-focused, he said. Reddy said India’s digital users believe if they share more information, they should get more value as a customer.

India Stack’s resources have helped financial inclusion in India as more developers use these interfaces to create more digital products for digital identity, payments, and data collection services. “The biggest innovation of this decade is the DPI (digital public infrastructure),” Reddy said.

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