Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a state-owned company with a monopoly on online train ticket booking, has scrapped its plan to monetize customer data after its tender raised concerns among many .
The Indian firm informed the local stock exchange on Friday that it was abandoning its proposal because the Indian government had withdrawn the bill on the protection of personal data.
In an earlier tender, the firm offered to appoint a consultant for digital data monetization of rail passenger data. The tender aimed to explore customer behavioral data, how often they travel, as well as geography, the type of ticket they buy, mobile phone number and gender.
The plan, if approved, would have helped the company increase revenue by more than $125 million, according to a company estimate. The uproar over the tender prompted the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, chaired by Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, to summon IRCTC leaders to address public concerns.
New Delhi-based advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation, which uncovered the tender, said of its scraping: “This action shows the positive impact that sustained public advocacy can have. »
The IRCTC handles the vast majority of online rail ticketing in the South Asian market and also runs catering services. The platform has over 100 million users and processes over 1 million ticket reservations every day.
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