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India’s Data Protection Bill: Latest Developments

India’s Data Protection Bill:

Nearly two years after it was constituted on 11 December 2019, the Joint Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, headed by BJP MP P.P. Chaudhary, has presented its final report on the upcoming bill in both Houses of Parliament on 16 December.

Key recommendations:

  • Remove the word ‘personal’ from the existing title of ‘Personal Data Protection Bill’.
  • This is intended to reflect that the bill, in order to better ensure privacy, will also be dealing with non-personal data, such as personal data that has been anonymised.
  • Amend the section restricting the transfer of personal data outside India to say “sensitive personal data shall not be shared with any foreign government or agency unless such sharing is approved by the central government.
  • No social media platform be allowed to operate in India unless its parent company, which controls the technology powering its services, sets up an office in the country.
  • It proposes a separate regulatory body to be set up to regulate the media.
  • Jail term of up to 3 years, fine of Rs 2 lakh or both if de-identified data is re-identified by any person.
  • The word ‘personal’ ought to be dropped from the name of the Bill.
  • Central government may exempt any government agency from the legislation only under exceptional circumstances.

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