Select Committee of Parliament still to finalise report on data protection law: Prasad

New Indian Express, June 08, 2021

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said the Select Committee of Parliament is still to finalise its report on the data protection law, adding that he looked forward to the final report so that the legislation receives parliamentary approval soon.

The draft data protection bill proposes to put restrictions on use of personal information of people without their explicit consent.

It aims to safeguard personal information, define obligations of data processors, rights of individuals and moots penalty for violations.

In a tweet, Prasad said: “I understand that the Select Committee of the Parliament is still to finalise its report on Data Protection Law. I appreciate their hard work. I look forward to their final report so that the Parliament approves a Data Protection Law soon.”

The areas covered by the draft bill on data protection include consent, what comprises personal data including sensitive personal data, exemptions which can be granted, grounds for processing information, storage restrictions for personal data and individual rights.

Notably, the government has also enforced new social media rules that are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of digital platforms, and offer users a robust forum for grievance redressal.

India is a major market for global digital platforms.

As per data cited by the government earlier this year, India has 53 crore WhatsApp users, 41 crore Facebook subscribers, 21 crore Instagram users, while 1.75 crore account holders are on microblogging platform Twitter.

Messaging platform WhatsApp — which had announced an updated privacy policy earlier this year — recently said it will not limit the functionality for users not agreeing to its new privacy policy, and continue to remind users about the update, maintaining this approach till the forthcoming data protection law comes into effect.

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