Highlights

  • Govt has withdrawn the Personal Data Protection Bill
  • The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2019
  • The bill was referred to a Joint Committee of Houses

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Explained in 60 seconds: why govt has withdrawn the Personal Data Protection Bill

The withdrawn Bill had proposed restrictions on the use of personal data without the explicit consent of citizens.

The government has withdrawn the Personal Data Protection Bill from Lok Sabha and said it will come out with a ‘set of fresh legislations’ that will be better suited for a digital economy.

According to reports, the Modi govt may replace it more than one bill, dealing with privacy and cyber security. The new set of bills may be introduced in the Winter Session of the Parliament.

The bill was introduced on 11 December 2019 and was referred to the Joint Committee of the Houses for examination. The report of the JCP was presented to Lok Sabha in December 2021.

According to a govt statement circulated to Lok Sabha members, the 2019 Bill was deliberated in great detail by the Joint Committee, which proposed 81 amendments and 12 recommendations.

The govt said that it is considering the suggestions made by the panel and therefore withdrawing the Personal Data Protection Bill.

The withdrawn Bill had proposed restrictions on the use of personal data without the explicit consent of citizens. It had also sought to provide the government with powers to give exemptions to its probe agencies from the provisions of the Act, a move that was strongly opposed by the opposition MPs who had filed their dissent notes.

It had also proposed the setting up of a Data Protection Authority.

It had also proposed to specify the flow and usage of personal data, protect the rights of individuals whose personal data are processed, as it works out the framework for the cross-border transfer, accountability of entities processing data, and moots remedies for unauthorised and harmful processing.

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