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Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture


DEPA UPSC: Relevance

  • GS 3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.


DEPA India: Context

  • Recently, the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) has endorsed India’s Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA).


Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture: Key points

  • BIS said that the experience with DEPA suggests that a consent-based system can operate at scale with low transaction costs.
  • BIS said that India has shown that this kind of digital public infrastructure allows nations to leapfrog and adopting DEPA, or the account aggregator framework, can tremendously benefit nations in financial, healthcare, skilling and other sectors.


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What is DEPA?

  • DEPA is a joint public-private effort for an improved data governance approach.
  • DEPA creates a digital framework that allows users to share their data on their own terms through a third-party entity, who are known as Consent Mangers (In India, Account Aggregators).
  • DEPA went live in the financial sector in 2020 under the joint leadership of the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI), and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).


DEPA advantages

  • DEPA is being seen as the next techno-legal solution that will empower users by giving them control over their data, allowing them seamless sharing and therefore inducing competition and enabling new services.
  • Using DEPA, individuals and small businesses can use their digital footprints to access not just affordable loans, but also insurance, savings, and better financial management products.
  • DEPA marks another step in a decade-long journey building digital infrastructure designed to improve private service delivery.


Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture_4.1


DEPA services

  • Account Aggregators: The RBI-supported Account Aggregator (AA) mechanism follows the DEPA model, which allows a user to access their financial data at one place.
  • Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN): Another manifestation of DEPA has begun with the OCEN in the financial sector. OCEN allows a user to share their financial data from various sources, such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) return from the income tax system—to prove their creditworthiness without having to show assets.


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