Data Protection Bill: The new law is expected to be passed by the budget session, says Vaishnav

New Delhi: After withdrawal Personal Data Protection BillUnion Minister, the government hopes to pass the new law by the budget session of Parliament Ashwini Vaishnava said on Wednesday.
The government on Wednesday withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill from the Lok Sabha. Joint Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill2019, led by BJP member PP Chaudhary, presented its report in the Lok Sabha on December 16, 2021.
Vaishnav told PTI that the joint committee has given a very good report in which they have recommended 81 amendments in 99 sections of the bill.
“Over and above that, there are 12 more key recommendations. So with this background, there was no option but to put up a new draft.
“Without compromising any principles of privacy or the SC verdict… we have prepared a new draft. We have completed the Parliament process today and very soon we will take the new draft through the approval process. Hopefully very soon. Budget We should be able to pass a new law by the session,” Vaishnav said.
Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government will come up with a comprehensive framework covering all aspects of the digital economy with dedicated rules for data privacy, emerging technologies and a data governance framework.
According to sources, the next version of the bill will be tabled in Parliament along with amendments to the IT Act, National Data Governance Framework etc. to address all issues in the IT sector including data privacy.
Chandrasekhar said the version of the bill tabled by the Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP) covers broad issues that need to be addressed under various rules and is not specific to data privacy.
“After considerable deliberation, and examination of the report, it has been found that a comprehensive rewriting of laws and regulations is required, taking into account some of the JCP’s comments and the emerging challenges and opportunities that are contemporary challenges and future opportunities that arise here,” said the minister.
The bill was withdrawn after Cabinet approval.
Chandrasekhar said the JCP report identified a large number of issues and challenges that are part of contemporary issues with the digital ecosystem.
“These are obviously issues that go beyond the realm of privacy and clearly catalyze the need for a thought process with government. We need a more comprehensive look at all the elements of jurisprudence, laws, regulations and infrastructure that matter to the innovation ecosystem and the digital economy. Continued growth,” the minister said.
The JCP version of the bill covers various aspects including significant social media mediation, personal and non-personal data, trusted hardware etc. which fall under the purview of different laws and jurisdictions.
“Essentially, the decision today was to withdraw this and go back, very quickly, with a framework of new legislation, but a comprehensive framework of legislation will be introduced to address all concerns,” Chandrasekhar said.
The government will now simultaneously work on amendments to the IT Act, data protection, national data governance framework, cyber security etc. and present it in Parliament.
“A citizen’s fundamental right to privacy will continue as per the Supreme Court judgment. Withdrawal of the bill will not affect the fundamental right of citizens,” Chandrasekhar said.
IT industry players who have been critical of the Data Protection Bill have praised the government’s move to withdraw the bill and have sought participation in the consultation process on the new draft.
About a dozen industry bodies wrote to Vaishnav that the implementation of the proposed Data Protection Bill recommended by a parliamentary panel would significantly degrade India’s business environment and reduce foreign investment inflows.
Meta said in a regulatory filing in February that proposed data protection bills in countries like India could increase the cost and complexity of delivering its services.
“New laws or regulatory decisions that restrict our ability to collect and use information about minors may also result in limitations on our advertising services or our ability to offer products and services to minors in certain jurisdictions,” it said.
The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) said the bill had been withdrawn after 4 years of deliberation.
“We are carefully monitoring this development and hope that the ministry will use this opportunity to address the numerous criticisms of the bill raised by various stakeholders during the consultation process,” the IFF said.

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