To expedite work on the draft Data Protection Bill, the IT Ministry is currently undertaking inter-ministerial consultations to allay any concerns over the proposed Bill.
Last week, the Home Ministry had called a meeting with IT Ministry officials, along with other stakeholders, to put forth concerns over the impact of the draft bill on law enforcement agencies while maintaining privacy of the citizens’ data, a senior government official told The Hindu .
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad attended the meeting. “They had some concerns over how the proposed Bill would impact the working of the departments under the ministry, and how would that be balanced with privacy of citizens’ data. There were discussions on whether some sort of waiver should be provided to the security agencies,” a source said.
The draft data protection law stated that “processing of personal data in the interests of the security of the State shall not be permitted unless it is authorised pursuant to a law…” Additionally, “processing of personal data in the interests of prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of any offence or any other contravention of law shall not be permitted unless it is authorised by a law made by Parliament and State Legislature.”
The government had earlier said it proposed to fast-track consultations on the draft personal data protection bill and introduce it in Parliament. The draft bill, which was released last year after an almost year-long consultation process, had proposed that critical personal data of Indian citizens be processed in centres located within the country.