Public affairs needed to clarify end use of personal data, Mastercard's Latika Taneja & Dell's Tabrez Ahmad on PRmoment Weber Shandwick Chai Talk

The collection, control, access and use of data has become a flash point, especially between social media giants and governments across the world.

Continuing with our reportage on the evolving role of public affairs in boardroom strategies, Latika Taneja, director, public policy, Mastercard South Asia and Tabrez Ahmad, group director, government affairs & public policy, Dell Technologies discuss the advocacy challenges and opportunities where data is concerned.

Data and Policy Communications

Commenting on the use of data in policymaking, Latika Taneja, director, public policy, Mastercard South Asia  stated, "Good trustworthy data bolsters our own confidence, you know, when we go out and meet the stakeholders, when we meet the policymakers, it helps us a, you know, provide a kind of counsel for making good policy decisions. And, and in my personal experience, policymakers and legislators listen more closely to reliable data and analytics, it definitely establishes and deepens relationships that are based on trust."

Tabrez Ahmad, group director, government affairs & public policy, Dell Technologies also opined that sharing of data can be used to improve manufacturing processes, especially for MSMEs.Dell Technologies

He said, "I work with our counterparts in other geographies also, in Europe particularly they are doing something very interesting that you know, the retail data is collected from the hub of msmes when they are manufacturing. As a result the lead time to manufacturing is reduced and  planning manufacturing processes improved. We are not doing that in India. We are thinking about it how we can do it.

There are a lot of scope for using big data and bringing good policies to support.  But the key will be the cluster level, the aggregation, put it together in some way so that per unit cost is coming down, and then it will be successful."

Regulation and Protection of Data 

The discussion  on this issue began with debate around data protectionism has sharpened. While GDPR is well in place in Europe, India has also drafted the 'Personal Data Protection Bill' in 2018.

Sharing her views on the issues,Taneja said that, "There is a need to change the narrative, there is a need to actually make people understand what kind of data as an organisation are gathered. 

For example, when we talk about MasterCard, as a payments company, we don't gather personal data. But some of the government official, they were under the impression that we do gather personal data. So changing that narrative, with this whole new importance that the data is gaining. It's about clearing those myths, and about really taking full responsibility of owning the data and taking responsible use of it."

The main session also covered:

1) What types of data consumers are comfortable with sharing.

2) Role of credible data in tax litigation settlements.

3) Convergence of industry views on data for sectors such as BSFI.

4) Shift from industry relations approach for manufacturing sector.

Watch the complete video here:

During the Q and A session Taneja and Ahmed discussed:

1) Communicating with the bottom of the pyramid about data and use of digital financial services.

2) Rise of better analytics for and insights from big data.

See the full Q and A:



The concluding poll on main takeaways from the session, rated WFH and data protection as top public affairs area, even ahead of social media regulation.


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