Budget Economic Survey 2019: Data “of the people, by the people, for the people” must become the mantra for the government, which needs to view data as a “public good” and make necessary investments, Economic Survey said on Thursday. The Economic Survey for 2018-19 asserted that benefits of creating data as a public good can be generated within the legal framework of data privacy. It emphasised that the data and information highway must be viewed as equally important infrastructure as the physical highways.
“Such a stance can help India leapfrog to utilise the benefits of technological advances for the welfare of its people. In the spirit of the Constitution of India, data ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ must therefore become the mantra for the government,” it said in a full chapter dedicated to data.
It noted that India, through unique identification programme Aadhaar, has been at the forefront of data and technology revolution which is unfolding. The Survey said that since data for social welfare may not be generated by the private sector in optimal quantity, the government needs to view data as a public good and make the necessary investments.