Data Protection Bill: JPC to invite views from all stakeholders

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill will throw open its doors for all stakeholders to express objections and point out loopholes in the proposed legislation, the panel decided at its first meeting held on Thursday.

IT Secretary Anshu Prakash gave a presentation giving details of the bill.

“Today was just a preliminary briefing, we didn’t go into the bill itself today. We asked him the purpose of the bill, whether privacy has been defined, how it is different from the Srikrishna committee’s report and so on,” one of the members told The Hindu.

The panel will issue an advertisement inviting the general public and the stakeholders to send in their suggestions. The stakeholders will be given four weeks to respond and the committee will meet later.

The Committee of 30 members has 20 from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha, and was formed after Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad moved motions in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to refer the legislation to the JPC in December last year during the Winter session. The committee is headed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.

The Justice B.N. Srikrishna-headed expert panel had in July 2018 submitted the draft personal data protection bill after a year-long consultation process. It recommended that critical personal data of the citizens be processed in centres located within the country. However, it put the onus of deciding what is ‘critical’ data on the Central government. The draft proposed that personal data may be processed on the basis of the consent of the data principal, while processing of sensitive personal data should be on the basis of “explicit consent”.

However, following the introduction of the new bill, Justice Srikrishna said it was at variance with the draft Bill that the committee headed by him had recommended. Stating that the Bill gave autonomy to the government, he said, “If this is passed in its current form, it should be challenged in the Supreme Court.”

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 1:10:20 AM |

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