Govt likely to bring Data Protection Bill in next year’s Budget Session

Economictimes, December 03, 2022

The Digital Data Protection Bill, which the Central government is working on, islikely to be introduced in the upcoming Budget Session of 2023-24.
The Bill is currently in its draft stage and has been placed in the public domain forconsultation.

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill is legislation that frames out the rightsand duties of the citizen (Digital Nagrik) on one hand and the Obligations to usecollected data lawfully of the Data Fiduciary on the other hand. The bill is basedon the following principles around the Data Economy.

The first principle is that the collection and usage of personal data byorganisations must be done in a manner that is lawful, protect the data of the individuals concerned and is transparent to individuals.

The second principle of Purpose and Storage limitation is that the personal data isused only for the purposes for which it was collected and only stored for theduration as is necessary for the purpose that it was collected.

The third principle of data minimisation is that only collection of data will be limitedto only those personnel that is required for the purpose specified. The fourthprinciple is Data protection and Accountability is that the responsibility ofprocessing the data is with the person who collects the Data and the Datacollected will be stored in a secure manner with no unauthorised use of the data orpersonal data breach.

The fifth principle is Personal data collected will be stored in an accurate manner.Reasonable effort is being made to ensure that the personal data of the individualis accurate and kept up to date. That the individual will have the right to inspecthis/her data and/or delete/modify it as required.

The sixth principle is mandatory reporting of breaches and fair, transparent andequitable adjudication of breaches of Fiduciary obligations by a Data ProtectionBoard.

These principles have been used as the basis for personal data protection laws invarious jurisdictions. The actual implementation of such laws has allowed theemergence of a more nuanced understanding of personal data protection whereinindividual rights, public interest and Ease of doing business, especially for startupsare balanced.

In the Monsoon Session of Parliament on August 3, 2022, the Union governmenthad withdrawn the Data Protection Bill with the aim of bringing a comprehensivelegislature. Union Telecom and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said that thejoint parliamentary committee which went through the original draft suggested 88amendments to a bill of 91 sections, which led the government to decide that therewas “no option” but to withdraw the original Bill completely.

In November, the government brought another draft of the Digital Data Protection Bill and put it for public consultation.

Presently, there are over 76 crores (760 million) active internet users (DigitalNagriks) and over the next coming years this is expected to touch 120 crores (1.2Billion).

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