Indian and German experts discuss how to strengthen data security and protection

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Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure organised Industry Interaction on “Protecting Data through Standards and Certification” on the eve of the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Mumbai.

Image for representational purpose only

Recent data breaches have focused the attention of governments, citizens, and companies alike on the same question: How can data be effectively protected? On the eve of the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), around 30 German and Indian experts from industry and government met in Mumbai to discuss how standards and certification can enhance IT security and data protection.

Participants welcomed a closer cooperation between India and Germany, and emphasised the need for consistent data protection regulations across countries. The experts appreciated similarities of the Indian draft Data Protection Bill with the GDPR of the EU. They pointed out that laws and regulations alone will not lead to adequate protection of data. Standards would be needed to ensure their effective implementation. They also highlighted that awareness has to be raised on data protection and capacities strengthened in India.

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IT security experts from Germany said that certification can create trust by assessing whether a company can secure its data. However, a multiplicity of different certificates could create confusion for consumers and may lead to market access barriers. In the GDPR, the requirement of mandatory accreditation of certificates is therefore seen as an important step to reduce fragmentation.

The industry interaction took place at the side-lines of it-sa IndiaIndia’s IT security expo and conference, which opened its doors from 24 to 25 May 2018 in Mumbai. Representatives from the Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate of the Ministry of Electronics and Information (MeitY), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Quality Council of India (QCI), DSCI – Promoting Data Protection, TeleTrust – IT Security Association Germany, German Engineering Federation (VDMA), the Association for Electrical, Electronic &Information Technologies (VDE), TÜVs, NürnbergMesse, and several German companies as well as the German Consulate participated in the exchange. The event was organized on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, by GIZ – the German Agency for International Cooperation – in collaboration with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC).

India and Germany cooperate within the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Indian Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. The Working Group has the goal to reduce technical barriers to trade and strengthen product safety through political and technical dialogue of relevant ministries and regulators. As part of the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI), GIZ has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to support the Working Group in India and ensure that concerns of the industry are taken up within the political dialogue.

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