Consumers can look forward to an era of data privacy

Source– The post is based on the article “Consumers can look forward to an era of data privacy” published in the “mint” on 8th August 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Polity

Relevance: Important BIlls and Acts

News– Recently, Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill 2023 was introduced in Parliament.

How will draft data protection be beneficial for Indian citizens?

It has the potential to reshape consumer behaviours and their attitudes towards the businesses they engage with.

Consumers are likely to become more cautious and attentive when it comes to the collection, processing, and storage of their personal data by businesses.

The Bill now offers an increased level of control to consumers over their personal data. It enables them to provide or withdraw consent for specific purposes of data processing.

This provision ensures that consumers are fully informed about the ways in which their data will be utilised. Thus, it enhances transparency in the data practices of businesses.

Consumers will have the ability to exercise various other rights concerning their personal data. These include the right to know what data is held by a Data Fiduciary, how it is utilised, and with whom it is shared.

Consumers can also request corrections to their stored information or even request its removal. These rights are not restricted to consumers alone. They can also be exercised by a designated individual in the event of the data subject’s death or incapacity.

The new privacy framework will also establish provisions for addressing grievances. It enables consumers to seek remedies in cases of data breaches or unauthorised data processing. Consumers can approach the Data Protection Board.

It will bring relief from unwanted communications such as spam emails and telemarketing calls. The intrusive marketing messages are expected to diminish.

This change is expected to transform the landscape of direct marketing. Ultimately, consumers will benefit from a personalised interaction with companies that engage in marketing their products and services.

What will be its impact on rural areas ?

Language need not be a barrier for non-English-speaking consumers. The Bill has incorporated a provision for privacy notices to be available not only in English but also in other languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

The envisaged Data Protection Board will act as a ‘digital office’ for rural inhabitants. They often face limited access to legal remedies in contrast to urban dwellers.

It has the potential to significantly impact people’s lives once they comprehend the importance of securing their personal data.

Way forward-

This legislation holds the potential to serve as a potent tool for nurturing digital empowerment and inclusivity across the entire nation.

Individuals across all age groups, including children, youth, middle-aged individuals, and senior citizens, should be educated about the key aspects of the Bill.

Efforts to raise awareness must encompass all socio-economic strata in both rural and urban areas of India.

Data Fiduciaries must adhere to their newfound legal obligations, especially in rapidly evolving technological domains.

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