News Brief

Data Protection Bill In Winter Session: Here's What The IT Minister Said About It

Bhaswati Guha Majumder

Nov 24, 2021, 05:20 PM | Updated 05:20 PM IST

Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019
Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019
  • The final document of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is expected to be tabled at the Parliament's winter session, as it has been approved by the members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee.
  • The final draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill of 2019 was reportedly adopted by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on 22 November. The next day, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated that the government is entirely dedicated to safeguarding people's privacy and that the data protection bill will enhance the legal framework surrounding privacy.

    The final document is expected to be tabled at the Winter Session, as it has been approved by the members of the JPC. However, because some JPC members have expressed dissatisfaction with some sections, some amendments may be made before the bill is introduced in Parliament.

    Meanwhile, the IT Minister assured that the centre is fully committed to protecting the privacy of the people. While speaking at an event to inaugurate the three-day workshop 'Aadhaar 2.0', he also said that concerns and doubts about Aadhaar have already been handled carefully, and the biometric ID has led to inclusive growth, with the poor and marginalised receiving full advantage of government initiatives.

    “The concerns which were there (on Aadhaar) have already been addressed very meticulously, through a very long process in which the Supreme Court judgement came, lots of regulations have been made,” he noted.

    However, the Minister did not comment on worries voiced by several opposition MPs who submitted dissent notes to JPC on the PDP Bill. According to Economic Times, when asked about concerns voiced about some aspects of the bill, the Minister said, "the Joint Committee of Parliament has completed their deliberations, they will be presenting... report to the Parliament... then only one should comment."

    Consumers have generated a lot of data as a result of digitisation, which has allowed corporations to display tailored adverts based on their surfing patterns and other online behaviour. Companies began storing a large number of these datasets without the users' consent and they did not accept responsibility when the data was breached. So, the idea of the bill was proposed to hold such firms accountable.

    As reported, one of the significant modifications said to have been pushed for in the final draft of the PDP Bill is the inclusion of non-personal data. The final draft is also claimed to have required organisations that deal only with children's data to register with the Data Protection Authority, a regulatory body that will have the power to decide how the law's various aspects will be implemented.

    The committee is also alleged to have advocated for all social media businesses to be considered publishers and held accountable for the information on their platforms if they are not serving as intermediaries. It is claimed to have proposed that no social media firm be permitted to operate in India unless the parent company responsible for the technology establishes an office in the country.

    Other components, such as the creation of an indigenous architecture that may serve as an alternative to the widely used SWIFT payment system, are alleged to have been suggested.

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