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TRAI seeks to regulate Cloud Computing

Cloud computing

With businesses increasingly turning to cloud computing for factors like sharing resources for big data storage, software and processes, India’s telecom authority has proposed regulating this segment of industry. The paper sought comments on the steps government should adopt to promote cloud computing in e-governance projects, establishment of data centres in India, encourage business and private organisations to utilize cloud services and to boost Digital India and Smart City incentive using cloud. Cloud Computing has four attributes — data intensive, resource pooling, scalability and rapid elasticity and On demand access. It can be operated in one of the four deployment models — public cloud, private cloud, community cloud and hybrid cloud.

Consultation paper mentions of privacy and data protection, potential for forced data localization , the prevention of cross border data transfer and taxation of cloud services .TRAI has also posed questions regarding provisions so that a customer is able to have control over his data while moving in and out of the cloud. The other areas in which it has sought comments include provisions for billing and metering re-verification of cloud services, how disputes are to be addressed, mechanisms for customer complaints and the security aspects of such services. There is an unanswered question on policies, systems and processes required information governance, framework in cloud from legal point of view and most importantly if it is hosted in a different country. There’s a point where the TRAI also points towards the possibility of licensing‘intermediate service providers’, without exactly specifying what kind of entities they are referring to. For a regulator which appeared to be avoiding broad consultations and taking up issues one by one, this is a bit of a disappointment. It’s hard to find an online service today that doesn’t deploy cloud based services, and this consultation thus has the potential to effect every Internet business, and thus availability of services to users in India.

Cloud computing has accounted for about 33 per cent of the total IT expenditure in 2015 across the world. Analysts project that from 2013 to 2018, the cloud computing market will grow at a 9.7 per cent annual rate. Also, by 2019, cloud IT infrastructure spending is expected to be $52 billion, or 45 per cent of total IT infrastructure spending. In India, cloud computing has huge potential for industries. Verticals such as retail, railways, manufacturing, banking, education and healthcare have started switching their on-premise applications to cloud services for optimized reach and performance as well as elasticity and scalability.

Source: Times of India

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