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The Personal Data Protection Bill 2019, which sought to protect an individual's data over cyber space and regulate the accessibility to personal data by companies and the government, has been withdrawn by the Union Minister of Information and Technology Ashwini Vaishnav from Lok Sabha on Wednesday after a joint parliamentary committee suggested 81 amendments to it.

Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology tweeted about the withdrawal of the bill with an assurance of a new legislation that will be framed to meet the global standard laws.

Another tweet in the thread read,

"JCP report on Personal Data protection bill had identified many issues that were relevant but beyond the scope of a modern Digital Privacy law

Privacy is a fundamental right of Indian citizens & A Trillion dollar Digital Economy requires Global std Cyber laws"

The Bill was introduced on 11 December, 2018 and was referred to the joint committee of the houses for examination, and the report of the Joint Committee was presented to Lok Sabha on 16 December, 2021.

The bill had been sent to the parliamentary committee after it faced vehement protests from the opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress among others who said the data privacy law violated fundamental rights of citizens.

The opposition parties alleged that the law gave sweeping powers to the government to access personal data of individuals under opaque conditions, citing national security and other reasons.

Along with opposition, the bill was also criticised by privacy experts as it was seen as being more in favour of the government rather than protecting privacy, which the Supreme Court held as a fundamental right in 2017.

Top technology companies and industry stakeholders were keenly waiting for the Personal Data Protection bill as it could alter the way all major internet companies process, store and transfer Indian consumers' data.

Meta, Google, Amazon, Twitter and other social media companies had expressed concerns about some of the recommendations by the joint parliamentary committee on the proposed bill since it clashed with many of their cyber policies regarding data collection.

 

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