Two companies have been fined by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for using personal data to send emails without consent, in violation of the Data Protection Act of 1998. Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology(IDRBT) operating in India has come up with a blueprint for a blockchain-enabled platform for the Indian banking industry. The blueprint of the proposed platform has been developed in collaboration with the Indian government, various financial institutions and local business establishments. The main feature of the blueprint is that it provides a roadmap for Indian businesses to use systems powered by distributed ledger technology. The blueprint to adopt the blockchain technology also includes a set of protocols which enable compatible operations among various software programs. A set of operational guidelines has also been created to act as a regulatory framework for banks using blockchain technology.

Cybersecurity risks pose a great threat to India’s financial system as per the former deputy governor of RBI, R Gandhi. The risks come from mobile phones and other devices using advanced networks such as the internet of things. Thus, one of the main concerns for regulators in India is to protect the users against data theft. Data privacy is also one of the top concerns of India’s lawmakers. Imposing heavy penalties for unauthorised use of user data has been suggested as the way forward by experts concerned about data security privacy.

“It is deeply concerning that sensitive personal data gathered for political purposes was later used for insurance purposes, and vice versa,” states Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. “It should never have happened.” The ICO claims that the two firms were carefully linked and that systems for separating the personal data of insurance clients from that of political subscribers’ were unsuccessful.

Denham adds: “We have been told both organizations have made improvements and learned from these events. But the ICO will now audit the organizations to determine how they are using customers’ personal information.” ICO is short for Initial Coin Offering. When launching a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token, the developers offer investors a limited number of units in exchange for other major crypto coins such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

An interdisciplinary committee was set up by the Indian government in December 2018. The committee found that various authorities jointly agree that cryptocurrency cannot be treated as illegal. It has also been revealed that decentralized digital currency may well be legalised but their use would be highly regulated. However, on 1st January, as per a local news source, RBI has put the plan to introduce a central bank digital currency in cold storage. As per officials, RBI no longer wants digital currency because it is very early to think about digital currency. RBI is currently keeping a track about how other nations are developing their CBDCs.

RBI currently does not have a formal unit for policy formulation relating to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and tracking the same.