Founders of ePharma businesses and startups in the medical technology space have sought a much better meaning of ‘sensitive’ overall health data and guidelines for anonymized data in the Personal Data Protection Bill, that is anticipated being tabled around Parliament in the present Winter session.
The Bill is having a detailed framework to process private and personal details by private and public entities. Based on the provisions, personal health data falls under the group of ‘sensitive data’, that may be prepared just based on ‘explicit consent’ by people.
Pradeep Dadha, CEO of Netmeds.com, an e-pharmacy said: “There must be far more clarity on what are the activities that need consent – if info is necessary for transactions then clearly, we shouldn’t be asked to take certain consent, however, if such specific consent is necessary, then we are going to have to make modifications to the terms and conditions (on our sites) to match that.”
The clause on’ responsible and fair processing’ of data in the Bill must also be clarified and can’t be left ready to open the interpretation, he included.
Since vendors in the space likewise employ AI-based algorithms to process customer’s data to far better map and offer goods and services to customers, founders said more details will be needed on how anonymized private and non-personal details may be prepared for use in such algorithms.
“In artificial intelligence & data science, healthcare is among probably the largest applications – we have to work with a great deal of customer data which isn’t personally identifiable. We’ve to be sure that the policy doesn’t dissuade the processing of creation and data of new AI versions of healthcare,” stated Prashant Tandon.
While anonymization of customer data is vital, Tandon said, companies shouldn’t be placed in a place where customers are disadvantaged by any type of discriminatory activity based on that data.
“For example, what could be challenging is, based on one’s health care data the government decides what sort of subsides or maybe insurance plan one ought to be qualified for or this (it finds) which a citizen is much more costly (than assumed earlier) – the solutions shouldn’t be discriminatory,” he stated.
Though the Bill doesn’t determine non-personal data explicitly, it is able to include community data, e-commerce data, anonymized data, among several kinds of data. “There really needs to be flexible to make use of non-personal data as well,” Tandon included.
Gopichand Katragadda, former chief technology officer of Tata Sons and founder of rich technology startup Myelin Foundry, stated customer data will be greatest protected if there are guidelines that need the explicit consent of individuals. “If their data would be to be used by a company for different functions, then consent must be definitely used for every purpose,” he said.
The data localization provision in the Bill hasn’t, however, affected the businesses as there was no cross border flow of health data, all of the founders pointed out.