IRCTC plans to sell user data, seeks Rs 1,000 crore in revenue, floats tender

Data Privacy!!!

Recently there was an announcement form IRCTC, one of the largest railway service provider/employer in the world. The announcement was that they will be generating Rs1000 crore from selling user data. Apparently, the Indian Railway has more than 100 terabytes of passenger data which will utilised by them for selling and monetizing themselves. Also, it states that this initiative is to enhance facilitation and to further improve the services.

How are they going to improve the services and enhance facilitation through user data selling? How is it even going to help them? Maybe they can segregate people according to their income level or any such criteria and then provide extra services for them. Which is again differentiating people. How is it going to benefit anyone except the IRCTC who can earn more through selling data and the additional income from the improved services. So, the actual question here is, who gave them the permission to sell user data? A user data or a personal data is his/her individual property. How can somebody else just capture and sell it for their own gains?

According to the article by indiatvnews, ( the bottom portion has a section which says the tender suggests referring to few laws and articles.

The Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 India states that the data processing is allowed only with individual consent or in any medical condition or by the state for providing benefits. What does the term benefit in this law mean. The data that is sold is of an individual so until and unless it benefits the individual nobody has the right to sell the data. And clearly here, the benefit or the monetization is taken by IRCTC. As mentioned above, the only benefit we as an individual gets is improved services. What are these services going to be? A well-maintained washroom in the trains? 1st class/business class facilities? Pick and drop services? Even if they provide these services, they are going to charge us lumpsum as tickets so where is the actual benefit for the individual?

The law itself is manipulated in such a way that nobody questions it. But shouldn’t we? Don’t we have the right? Why should IRCTC monetise themselves with our data. We all know that a Data is worth Gold or may be Diamond in the present world. Then why not let the common man enjoy selling data (gold/diamond).

This is getting very serious. You have no privacy at all and on top of that others are enjoying our monetary benefits. We are already paying a lot to the country for the daily survival. It’s high time we need to take this seriously. Let’s be responsible, let’s be loud, let’s ask for our rights.
Join our movement MY DATA MY RIGHTS, a global social movement to spread awareness.

Ashith Piriyttiath- Group Head of IT of Al Masah Capital is awarded as the CIO of the year 2017 across the Middle East by CNME along with many awards in the industry, especially for the implementation of large scale CLOUD Projects and Digitals Transformation Projects. Ashith is a C- Level IT Executive who brings with him more than 16 years of functional exposure in the areas of Sales and Distribution, Supply Chain, Marketing and Finance. Solid experience in Application Management, ERP Implementation, IT Infrastructure Management, Business Analysis, Project Management, Delivery Management, Service Desk Management, Change Management & Software Development. His career spans Multinationals, Pharmaceuticals, FMCGs, Banks, the Education sector, Logistics vertical, Health care and Alternative Investment industries. Having completed the Master of Computer Application, Ashith leads the Digital Transformation journey of a group of companies from legacy infrastructure by moving most of its group company's infrastructure to CLOUD.


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