Govt withdraws Personal Data Protection Bill, new legislation on the cards

The bill was introduced on December 11, 2019

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Aug 3, 2022 5:47 PM  | 4 min read
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The Ministry of Information Technology and Electronics (MEITY) has withdrawn The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2021 after a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JCP) suggested 81 amendments to the bill. The government is planning to come out with a comprehensive framework of global standard laws which will include digital privacy.

Union Information and Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw today issued a notice in the Lok Sabha for the withdrawal of the bill.
In a statement, Vaishnaw said, “The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was deliberated in great detail by the Joint Committee of Parliament. 81 amendments were proposed and 12 recommendations were made towards comprehensive legal framework on digital ecosystem. Considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon. Hence, in the circumstances, it is proposed to withdraw ‘The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019’ and present a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework.”

The objective of the bill was to provide for protecting the digital privacy of individuals relating to their personal data, to specify the flow and usage of data, and to create a relationship of trust between persons and entities processing the data.

Other objectives of the bill included protecting the rights of individuals whose data are processed, to create a framework for organisational and technical measures in the processing of data, laying down norms for social media platforms, cross-border transfer, accountability of entities processing data, remedies for unauthorised and harmful processing, to ensure the interest and security of the State.

The bill also proposed the establishment of a Data Protection Authority of India for the said purposes and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, as reported by Joint Committee.

The Personal Data Protection Bill was introduced on 11 December 2019. The bill was referred to the Joint Committee of the Houses for examination and report and the report of the Joint Committee was presented to Lok Sabha on 16.12.2021.

"Tdy @GoI_MeitY  withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill,2021 from Parliament. This will soon be replaced by a comprehensive framewrk of Global std laws includng Digital Privacy laws for contemporary & future chllnges n catalyze PM @narendramodi ji vision of #IndiaTechade," Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said in a Tweet.

"JCP report on Personal Data protection bill had identified many issues that were relevant but beyond the scope of a modern Digital Privacy law. Privacy is a fundamental right of Indian citizens & A Trillion dollar Digital Economy requires Global std Cyber laws," he added.
In a recent interaction with e4m, IPG Chief Data & Technology Officer Arun Kumar stated that the PDP regulation will have grave implications for the advertising and marketing industry. He noted that advertising spending will see a big decline if the PDP Bill becomes law.

"In a market as big as India, advertising funds will shrink badly once the data protection law comes into place. Digital media houses can't survive without ads. There is a tendency to look at data narrowly. In the interest of protecting privacy, we are damaging far more things. In India, digital spends are not that much compared to the US. We must think rationally and avoid pressuring the media. It is difficult to survive without ad revenue. Netflix has now opted for an ad-supported model because subscribers don't want to pay," he contended.

On the question about the government being out of the bill's ambit, Kumar noted that the law must be the same for all. "All over the world, privacy laws are applicable to the government as well, except for national security. The government must be transparent just as it wants private corporations to be. GDPR in Europe has exemptions for special security purposes only. Similarly, finance and health may have different sets of privacy laws, but everything will be under the purview of the umbrella legislation."

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