BOOK CHAPTER OUT! — COVID-19 and Non-Personal Data in the Indian Context: On the Normative Ideal of Public Interest

The southwestern Indian state of Kerala has been in the news for flattening the curve in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, raising the bar for public health interventions through proactive and informed policy stances. However, another storm was brewing for a few weeks in April and early May that had implications for the larger public health crisis. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala questioned the state government upon entering into a contract with a private firm, Sprinklr, which would be granted full access to citizens’ health data. This led to petitions being filed in the Kerala High Court, and the judge ordering that the data of COVID-19 patients with Sprinklr be anonymised. Several days before the original post from which this chapter is drawn was written, the Kerala government told the High Court that the data had been transferred to a State-owned cloud space. While this incident, in the midst of a global pandemic, speaks to ongoing discussions on the data privacy and healthcare cybersecurity, it also highlights what is emerging as an important domain in data governance: Non-Personal Data.

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