Companies like Google may soon have to apply for a licence for its mapping services, if a bill called the ‘Geospatial Information Regulation Bill’ is passed. According to the draft of the bill, a person or company who have acquired geospatial imagery or data of any part of India through space, aerial platforms or terrestrial vehicles will have to apply for a licence with the Security Vetting Authority. Failure to do so could lead to a fine ranging from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 100 crore.
In addition, no one will be allowed to acquire geospatial imagery or data without the permission of the Security Vetting Authority. The Security Vetting Authority shall consist of an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India or above as Chairman, and two members - a technical expert and a national security expert.
The bill also seeks to punish anyone who “depicts, disseminates, publishes or distributes any wrong or false topographic information of India including international boundaries.” The fine for this ranges from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 100 crore, and/or imprisonment of up to seven years. The aim of this law is to regulate the acquisition, dissemination, publication, and distribution of the geospatial information of India.