NEW DELHI: The government is working on a new Information Technology Act (IT Act) to keep up with the changes sweeping the technology industry, according to IT and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The new Act will more robustly cover aspects like cyber security and data privacy, keeping in mind security of users and advent of new technologies, he said on Wednesday.
“IT Act is 20 years old and ecosystem has changed a lot. New technology has become very pronounced and whole ecosystem of consumers has changed vastly. Technology is the centre of digital payments and digital delivery of services. The vastness of this was not contemplated when the IT Act was formed," Prasad told reporters after a meeting with Microsoft Corporation chief executive officer Satya Nadella.
A committee of experts will soon be formed soon to finalise the contours of the new law, he said.
“The biggest challenge is the number of consumers. Second is the use of technology," he said.
The Information Technology Act, 2000 currently defines and determines issues of cyber crime, data privacy, e-commerce and all rights and obligations of parties coming under the Act. As pointed out by the minister, the Act, framed 20 years ago, is not equipped to deal with the problems like hacking, spying, online bullying, phishing, etc that come that modern technological advancements have brought.
“Cybercrime also has to be looked at," he said, adding, “It will also factor in SC judgement on privacy and issue of (data) protection". The existing Act doesn’t adequately address the issue of cyber crime and data protection, the latter subject currently being sought to be addressed by the government through a separate act.
The proposed act for protecting data privacy is at the stage of a Bill, called ‘The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018’, and is currently in the hands of Joint Parliamentary Committee led by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Meenakshi Lekhi.