IRCTC Will Not Sell Passenger Data To Earn Money: Withdraws Data Monetization Tender Over Privacy Concerns
Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) was planning on to monetize its passenger, freight customer data with the aim to generate revenue up to Rs 1,000 crore and had raised a tender for the same. However, recently the company has withdrawn the tender.
It was informed in the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology chaired by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor by IRCTC that it was no longer pursuing the tender.
Withdrawal of E-tender
As per the official notification “Due to withdrawal of Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 by the Government of lndia, E-tender for appointment of Consultant for Data Monetization of lndian Railway/ IRCTC floated by IRCTC, on 29th July, 2022 has been withdrawn”.
As on Friday, the shares of IRCTC closed 0.17 percent higher at Rs 718.50 apiece on BSE.
IRCTC, has earlier this month, states that in order to monetize the railways passenger data, it was looking to onboard a consultant. There are more than 10 crore users of the catering arm of Indian Railways, out of these 7.5 crores are active users.
The data which was to be studied as per the tender document includes information captured by the transporter’s various public facing applications such as ”name, age, mobile number, gender, address, e-mail ID, class of journey, payment mode, login or password” and other details.
As per the document, after the consultant was finalized, the details of the applications and the data collected thereon for conducting the study for ‘Monetization of Digital Data of Indian Railways’ will be provided.
As per the tender details, the consultant shall study the data of passenger, freight and parcel businesses of the Indian Railways such as PRS, NGeT, NTES, UTS, Rail Madad, FOIS, TMS, e-CRM, and PMS, as well as vendor-related data from applications like IREPS, VMS and IPAS.
Monetization of Data To Drive Revenues
Access to the digital data systems will be provided to the consultant as per the document titled ‘The Scope of Work for Project A: For study of Monetization of Digital Data of Indian Railways(IR)’. This data generates behavioral data such as flow of passengers, class of journey, frequency of journey, travel time, booking time, age group and gender, payment mode, number of destinations and booking modes.
IRCTC aimed to drive strong growth in revenues by leveraging its data assets and market position. The document stated that it can be achieved by improving customer experience, expanding the portfolio of products being offered to the customers and/or developing new business lines and partnerships.