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Personal Data Protection Bill: Government to Bring New, Comprehensive Bill

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The government will introduce a comprehensive framework covering all aspects of digital economy with dedicated rules for data privacy, emerging technologies, and data governance framework, Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Wednesday. The government on Wednesday withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill from Lok Sabha and said it will come out with a “set of fresh legislations” that will fit into the comprehensive legal framework.

According to sources, the next version of the bill along with IT Act amendment, national data governance framework etc will be placed in Parliament in about six months.

The Minister of State for Electronics and IT said that the version of bill tabled by Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP) had covered wide issues which required to be addressed under various rules and were not specific to data privacy.

“After considerable deliberation, and examining of the report, it has found that there is a need for a comprehensive, redrawing of the laws and rules, taking into account some of the JCP’s comments and the emerging challenges and opportunities that the contemporary challenges and future opportunities that arise here,” the minister said.

The joint parliament panel had tabled the bill in December 2021.

The bill was withdrawn after Cabinet approval.

Chandrasekhar said that report of the JCP went into and identified a large number of issues and challenges that are part of the contemporary challenges with digital ecosystems and talked extensively about all that.

“Those are obviously issues that fall outside the domain of privacy and clearly catalyze the need of a thought process with the government. We need a much more comprehensive look at all of the elements of jurisprudence, laws, rules and framework that are important to the continuing growth of the innovation ecosystem and the digital economy,” the minister said.

The JCP version of the bill delved into various aspects including significant social media intermediary, personal and non-personal data, trusted hardware etc which fall under the ambit of different laws and jurisdictions.

“Essentially, the decision today was we withdraw this and very quickly, go back with a framework of new laws, but a comprehensive framework of laws will be introduced to address all the concerns,” Chandrasekhar said.

Government will now simultaneously work on IT Act amendment, data protection, national data governance framework, cyber security etc and table them in Parliament.

“Citizen will continue to have fundamental right of Right to Privacy as ruled by the Supreme Court. The withdrawal of bill does not has any impact on the fundamental right of citizen,” Chandrasekhar said.


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