CIS Response to Draft E-Commerce Policy

Posted by Amber Sinha at Apr 01, 2019 12:05 PM |
CIS is grateful for the opportunity to submit comments to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on the draft national e-commerce policy. This response was authored by Amber Sinha, Arindrajit Basu, Elonnai Hickok and Vipul Kharbanda.


Access our response to the draft policy here: Download (PDF)

The E-Commerce Policy is a much needed and timely document that seeks to enable the growth of India's digital ecosystem. Crucially, it backs up India's stance at the WTO, which has been a robust pushback against digital trade policies that would benefit the developed world at the cost of emerging economies. However, in order to ensure that the benefits of the digital economy are truly shared, focus must not only be on the sellers but also on the consumers, which automatically brings in individual rights into the question. No right is absolute but there needs to be a fair trade-off between the mercantilist aspirations of a burgeoning digital economy and the civil and political rights of the individuals who are spurring the economy on. We also appreciate the recognition that the regulation of e-commerce must be an inter-disciplinary effort and the assertion of the roles of various other departments and ministries. However, we also caution against over-reach and encroaching into policy domains that fall within the mandate of existing laws.


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Amber Sinha

Amber, Senior Programme Manager at CIS, works on issues surrounding privacy, big data, and cyber security. He is interested in the impact of emerging technologies like AI and learning algorithms on existing legal frameworks, and how they need to evolve in response. Amber can be reached at amber at cis-india dot org, and at @ambersinha07.