The data protection bills’ reduced emphasis on privacy

News: Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP)  on the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019 has submitted its report in the Parliament.

Also Read:  The draft personal data protection bill, 2018
What are the key recommendations of the bill?

Children data: It recommended children’s personal data be processed in the manner best fitted for the interest of the children. The decision of what constitutes the child’s best interest to be left to parents and natural guardians.

Grievance Redressal: Under Section 62 data principals can approach to Data Protection Authority (DPA) if they are not satisfied with how their grievance was redressed by the data fiduciaries.

New definition: Under the new definition of “data fiduciary” and “data processor”, it specifically includes nongovernmental organizations also. Although the term” company and any juristic entity” had already been there in an existing one.

Also read: Data Protection Bill: Explained: JCP prescription for data Bill
What are the concerns associated with the data protection bill?

Section 36:  Under the Section 36 clause, the drafts exempts the applicability of Chapter II through VII for law enforcement purposes. These restrictions existed earlier but were qualified like the 2018 draft called for the process to be fair and reasonable. The current draft does away with all such qualifications on the processing of personal data.

Read more: Draft Personal Data Protection Bill

Section 12: Earlier, the scope of Section 12, permitted personal data to be processed without the consent for performing functions on the grounds – a) provision of services or benefits, b) issuance of certifications, licenses, or permits. Now the scope has been expanded through the insertion of the word “including” to suggest that these categories can be expanded in the future.

Appointment of data protection officers: New draft limits that only the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or whole-time director of an overseas company can be appointed as data protection officer and not the low-level officials of any company. This might cause a resource-crunch.

Read here: What are the controversies surrounding the Data Protection Bill?

Source: This post is based on the article “The data protection bills’ reduced emphasis on privacy” published in Livemint on 22nd December 2021.

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