Data Protection Bill approved by Cabinet: Content, concerns

Source: The post is based on the article “Data Protection Bill approved by Cabinet: Content, concerns” published in Indian Express on 6th July 2023

What is the News?

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 is expected to be tabled in the upcoming Parliament’s Monsoon Session.

What are the key provisions of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022?

Applicability: The Bill will apply to processing of digital personal data within India and to data processing outside the country if it is done for offering goods or services, or for profiling individuals in India.

Collection of Personal Data: The bill requires entities that collect personal data — called data fiduciaries — to maintain the accuracy of data, keep data secure, and delete data once their purpose has been met.

Data Breach: The bill is expected to allow “voluntary undertaking” — meaning that entities violating its provisions can bring it up with the data protection board which can decide to bar proceedings against the entity by accepting settlement fees. 

– Repeat offences of the same nature could attract higher financial penalties, the official said. The highest penalty — to be levied for failing to prevent a data breach — has been prescribed at Rs 250 crore per instance.

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What are the key changes that are made in the bill now?

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What are the key concerns with the bill?

Firstly, the Bill has prescribed that the central government can exempt “any instrumentality of the state” from adhering to the provisions of the bill on account of national security, relations with foreign governments, and maintenance of public order among other things.

Secondly, the central government will have complete control in appointing members of the data protection board — an adjudicatory body that will deal with privacy-related grievances and disputes between two parties — is learnt to have been retained as well.

Thirdly, there is also concern that the law could dilute the Right to Information (RTI) Act, as personal data of government functionaries is likely to be protected under it, making it difficult to be shared with an RTI applicant.

What are the data protection laws in other countries?

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