India, following China, stands as the second-largest data market globally. On Thursday 3 August, 2023, a significant milestone was achieved as the union government presented the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill, 2023, in the Parliament. This new version of the bill comes after the previous one, which took five years to develop, was withdrawn exactly one year ago. With this move, India takes a step closer to enacting comprehensive privacy legislation.
The recently introduced legislation seeks to empower individuals with greater control over how businesses handle their personal data. By setting stringent guidelines for data sharing, processing, and storage, the law aims to safeguard people's privacy. Additionally, the bill proposes a "blacklisting" approach, which restricts the transfer of data to certain geographical locations. While data can freely flow to most jurisdictions, it will be withheld from countries explicitly prohibited under the law. This measure intends to enhance data protection and ensure responsible handling of personal information by businesses.
During the introduction of the Bill in Parliament, Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasized its focus on processing digital personal data while respecting individual rights and acknowledging the lawful purposes for data processing. The Bill is scheduled for a debate on Monday, and the government is optimistic about its passage in the current session.
The proposed Bill includes substantial penalties for data breaches, ranging from Rs. 250 crore to a maximum of Rs. 500 crore, depending on the number of breaches. To ensure effective implementation, a data protection board will be established. A noteworthy addition to the Bill is the provision allowing platforms to be blocked if they experience two or more instances of breaching its provisions. In such cases, the data protection board will advise the central government on the necessary actions to be taken. This move emphasizes the seriousness of data protection and aims to hold platforms accountable for safeguarding users' personal information.
“A lot of public consultation has happened. It is a very modern, forward looking bill. This bill must be enacted at the earliest because this practice of misusing and exploiting personal data must be put on a break. So every logic points to a good decisive debate in Parliament and the enactment of the law.” the minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Source: The Economic Times