The Union Cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval for introduction of an Amendment Bill incorporating certain changes in the current Information Technology Act, 2000.
The IT Act primarily aims to boost e-commerce in the country as well as create an enabling environment for e-governance in the country. It provides a legal framework for transactions carried out using computers and the Internet technologies.
Concerns have been raised both within the country as well as by customers abroad regarding adequacy of data protection and privacy laws in the country. The new Amendment proposes to strengthen the legislation pertaining to data protection and privacy. The security practices and procedures would be prescribed to be followed by body corporates and organisations.
Further, new forms of computer misuse like video voyeurism, identity theft, e-commerce frauds like phishing, frauds on online auction sites, sending offensive emails and multimedia offences have also emerged.
With the proliferation of e-governance and other IT applications, security practices and procedures relating to such applications are proposed to be prescribed.
There is also an emerging view that IT laws should be technologically neutral in line with the recommendations made by UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) Model Law on Electronic Signature. Such approach would promote development of alternative technologies for authentication of electronic records and would not warrant legislative changes each time a new and equally effective technology is evolved.
Keeping in view the various concerns, the amendments have been proposed in some of the existing sections in the IT Act, 2000, as well as insertion of new sections in the Act.