India-US relations already seem to be struggling on an economic front and the disputes of data localisation can further dampen things. The US tech giants including Amazon, American Express and Microsoft have opened a front against India to oppose India’s plans of storing data locally.
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India’s push to store data locally comes amid global efforts to protect user data. But these plans could depress the investment plans made by major tech companies in the Indian market. These tech giants currently have limited data storage in India. This tirade between India and US tech giants can further upset the economic relations between India and the US.
Technology executives and trade groups can be seen approaching the Indian Prime Minister’s office to express worries. The issue could also be highlighted during the India-US 2+2 dialogue that is scheduled for September. A final decision is however yet to be made.
This new issue has cropped up when India-US are already at loggerheads over increased tariffs form the US. Not just India but multiple nations are being affected by the unilateralism shown by the US in recent times. The US is already in a massive trade war with China and its protectionist policies are affecting other nations too.
India and the US will hold 2+2 dialogue in September in which the Defence Ministers and the Foreign Ministers of both sides will discuss a wide range of bilateral issues. This dialogue was supposed to be held earlier in Washington but the talks were postponed by the US.
Data privacy is now a fundamental right in India and hence India is moving towards saving user data effectively. These plans, however, don’t seem to be going well with the tech giants which see India as a big market for their services and products. How this opposition shapes up further is something that remains to be seen.