Journey of Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

Do you think of all day without the internet? Nearly 90 percent of 100 percent of people will probably answer with a huge no. The remaining 10% are believed to be non-users. The dependence on web-based technology is due to the vast information accessible at a glance. According to the saying, everything can be found online. You can buy food and clothes, make payments or share photos and videos, get work, and more all over the internet. All of these activities require users to give some level of personal data.

With the vast amount of personal information being shared online, Is there any form of security measures to protect against the misuse of this data? It is essential for the laws in India in the 21st century to work hand with technological advances. The individuals who are the source of this information should be able to influence the future use of their data. Awareness of the most fundamental human rights, such as privacy, is essential.

In this case, we’re talking about the privacy of data and the need for laws that provide some control to the government but, in the same way, do not render the citizens of India in the dark as far as their data security is concerned. As everyone waited for an announcement of the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 to be into force, the government canceled it a few months ago. Following the progress is the JPC review of the Data Protection Bill followed by the government’s decision to withdraw it.

What is the motivation behind it necessary to introduce the Data Protection Bill introduced?

The need for Indian Personal Data Protection Bill has been a necessity since personal information was made accessible on the internet. When personal information is accessible via technology, there must be a way to manage that technology to block any possibility of misuse of the information. This law also has the potential to provide solutions regarding how to protect yourself from online fraud. It is believed that the Personal Data Protection Bill has been going through the process since 2018, by the recommendations of Justice B N Srikrishna Committee. The Lok Sabha approved it on December 11 in, 2019, and was then recommended by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the same day.

Features of Withdrawn Personal Data Protection Bill

As we mentioned, the bill conformed with the recommendations of Justice B N Srikrishna Committee. Here are some of the critical details outlined in the Indian Data Protection Bill 2019:

The bill regulates the processing of personal information by several parties:


Indian companies

Foreign companies deal with the personal information of Indian individuals

It is distinguished from private as well as non-personal information.

It provided for the establishment of a Data Protection Authority responsible for the following functions:

Individual interest protection

The prevention of misuse of personal information

The bill complies.

The provisions for civil court-like powers, along with capabilities similar to those of a civil court with Data Protection Authority, were provided in the bill. The authority’s orders could be referred to an appeals tribunal. The appellate tribunal could appeal according to the Personal Data Protection Bill laid before the Honourable Supreme Court.

Its authority, i.e., guardian of data, is known as the fiduciary for data. They must maintain transparency and accountability in the handling and processing of data.

The rights of those whose personal information is being processed, collected, and processed. Are also defined. It also covers the ‘right not to forget.’

Consent from the individual was required to collect data from an individual, according to the Indian Personal Data Protection Bill of 2019. The exceptions in this provision of support are obligations of the state to provide the individual’s benefit as well as legal proceedings and responses for medical emergencies.

The requirement of consenting in writing by the persons concerned if personal information was transferred outside of India.

It is possible to find Social Media Intermediaries, for instance, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, which have millions of users. Sometimes, these sites can be used as carriers for false and misleading information. In addition to other obligations, these intermediaries had to provide a user-friendly verification process.

Infractions to the laws of the Indian Personal Data Protection Bill of 2019 are also classified as an offense with punishments. Had the bill been approved, the various cases handled by an internet lawyer could have given legal rights to online users in India.

This bill also sought changes to the Information Technology Act of 2000 in the form of provisions to protect data.

The bill also empowers the government to collect non-personal or even anonymized personal information (individual identity is not disclosed).

JPC Report on Data Protection Bill

The bill was created by members of the Personal Data Protection Bill Committee and then presented by the committee to be considered by the Joint Parliamentary Committee for scrutiny. Even though the committee was given the deadline to submit its report by February 2020, it requested an extension to meet with various stakeholders before the JPC report on the Data Protection Bill is tabled in the Lok Sabha.

The committee returned after two years on December 16, 2021. It released an update report that contained 542 pages. This JPC review of the Data Protection Bill consisted of 93 suggestions on the existing laws. The report also suggested 81 amendments to the current bill. A second panel led by a Union Minister offered 97 improvements and corrections to the account already in draft. The panelists included privacy and tech activists, whose vocal criticisms led to the retraction of the statement.

The main points suggested in this report include

The need for the protection of data in the broader sense, without segregation of personal as well as non-personal data

Social media are viewed as not only intermediaries but also as content producers,

Regulation and supervision of social networks platforms be added to stop the different kinds of cybercrime,

The need for norms on the localization of data

If data is compromised, the provisions for compensation are required,

The government of the union enjoys more significant exemptions

Get rid of the silence about information about deceased children, dead people, and others.

The bill must be compatible with the privacy rights ruling of K.S. Puttaswamy (2017).

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