Last year, I wrote about three main things I believe are essential for good tech sector control. In the first place, I suggested that regulators identify the real regulatory objectives behind the laws they are drafting. In the context of technology, I would argue that establishing regulatory principles is more effective than trying to write rules that apply only to the limited implementation of that technology. Finally, I call on experts-technicians, economists, policy analysts and other professionals to assist in designing the policies needed to govern this sector and suggest that the government should not be ashamed to seek help in the first place.
Over the years, I have seen country pass laws that do not fit the technologies they are supposed to govern. Depending on the rate at which technology is evolving, in most cases, by the time the law comes into force, technology has advanced, bringing in a whole host of new problems that the old law was already incapable of solving. Because our legislators do not fully understand the technology they want to control, their regulations are often designed to be vague rather than explicit, legislation filled with broad definitions, not applicable only to activities in immediate thought. Regulator but others applicable in the future. That’s why our tech sector has been damaged by coercive laws and tech companies work with the kindness of any explanations regulators choose to apply on a given day.
Earlier last week, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued recommendations on the regulation of cloud services in India. It called for the adoption of light-touch regulation for cloud service providers and called for the creation of an industry body that would work closely with the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) and Troy to forge an appropriate balance between regulation and trade freedom. Operate.
Such recommendations that promote the establishment of self-regulatory bodies (SROs) and give them a meaningful role in the development of regulations pertaining to this sector are welcome. In many ways, this approach checks the three-point boxes that I have argued are necessary for effective control of the tech sector. As the SRO has the opportunity to work with the sector regulator, it can provide regulatory process trade inputs that help develop appropriate rounded regulatory objectives that take into account social and commercial needs appropriately.
By requiring light-touch regulation, the SRO is first compelled to formulate principles, which can then be translated into usage-specific terms. Finally, the suggestion that industries with companies working in this field should be involved in the design of regulations indicates the government’s desire to focus on the expertise that resides in the industry to formulate the regulations necessary to govern the space.
I sincerely feel that the signs of this approach are manifesting in different areas of the tech sector. Before TRAI went this route, the Personal Data Protection Bill called on SROs to develop codes of practice that translate privacy principles into appropriate regulations for the sector. I believe that as more regulators in the tech sector adopt this co-regulatory approach, our laws will be able to address the rapidly evolving demands of modern technology in a more proactive and responsive manner.
But we must not stop there.
Our recent achievements in the digital space are indebted to the expansion of digital public infrastructure — from the Indian payment infrastructure to the Universal Payment Interface (UPI) and the Account Aggregator Framework, to the National Digital Health Mission, which, once implemented, brings data into the healthcare sector. In my view, it is important to make sure that this powerful infrastructure is current and up to date. It calls for the active development of technical standards for this infrastructure that can respond to market demand for new and more innovative digital products along with the speed of technology.
Our controllers appear to be the only ones equipped to do this. They do not have the technical expertise to develop new versions of existing frameworks or the organizational muscles to keep current frameworks in good condition. Instead, all they have to do is hire the appropriate technical standards agencies (TSOs) to design and continuously develop standards for our public digital infrastructure. These TSOs should have adequate staff with adequate technical qualifications, drawn as required from our higher education institutions. The standards they recommend should be submitted to the regulator for its scrutiny and, once approved, apply to the entire relevant sector.
This ensures that our regulators receive the necessary assistance in formulating technical standards, just as SROs develop regulatory frameworks specific to a sector.
There is also a podcast under the name Partner and Ex Machina in the Rahul Mathan trilogy. His Twitter handle @Matton