Union Minister of State for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said that India should strive to set up its own standards for future technologies instead of borrowing them from the European Union or the United States.
During an interaction with students, startups, and prominent citizens from in Bengaluru on Saturday (12 August), the minister said that the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, which was recently approved by the President, is "a world-class legislation".
He elaborated on how this law integrates into a broader mission aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, which aims to establish contemporary and relevant laws tailored to Indian requirements along with platform obligations.
“The forthcoming companion legislation is known as the Digital India Act, which is set to replace the 22-year-old IT Act. The Digital India Act will deal with the whole ecosystem of technology," he added.
The Minister noted that earlier data privacy conversations in our country used to start and end with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
"It was almost a trend to regard anything foreign as the best. But we decided to design an Indian bill ground up instead of deriving inspiration from the GDPR," he added.
"We have looked at the Indian internet with the 830 million Indians who use the internet and by 2025-26 it will be 1.2 billion Indians. We are the largest connected country in the world. We deserve to be setting our own standards in any conversation about technology for the future rather than borrowing anything from the EU or US,” the minister said.
Speaking on the data protection law, the minister emphasised the significance of imposing substantial penalties. These penalties serve a vital purpose — to ensure industries and platforms adhere to this law.
“This law is creating a new regime. We will allow companies and industries a transitional period. The era of misuse, the era of exploitation, the era of believing that Indian citizens don’t have rights comes to an end with this law," he said.
He added that the data protection act is an important marker to catalyse the innovation ecosystem because it removes any ambiguity of what an entity is supposed to do when privacy is being declared as a fundamental right.
"In case of a citizen's data breach, they simply need to visit the website, provide the data protection board with details, and the board will initiate an inquiry, imposing penalties on the breaching platforms. We want the penalties to be punitive so that it incentivises platforms to be responsible," he added.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.