The draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 is in its final stage and is expected to be tabled in Parliament in June, after which it could become a law
The long-awaited Bill regulates the processing of personal data of individuals by government and private entities incorporated in India and abroad
New Delhi: Even as protecting privacy of citizens remains core concern of the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, the government would ensure that it does not become an 'unintended barrier' to India’s growth in digital economy, said a senior government official, here on Monday.
“The core focus of the bill is on the individual and how to protect his or her privacy based on consent. Anything else is either irrelevant or irreplaceable," said Gopalakrishnan S, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, while delivering a special lecture at the conference on ‘Future of the Digital Economy’, organized by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), here on Monday.
Drafted amidst concerns over lack of a valid data privacy and protection law in the country of 1.32 billion, the Bill, however, came under criticism from other stakeholders, including companies who argued that the it could kill innovation in big-data and prove detrimental to the digital economy.
However, Gopalakrishnan, who was part of the Committee of Experts involved in developing a data protection framework for India, highlighted that the Bill would also ensure that it does not impact efforts to crunch big-data.
“The goal is to achieve a harmonious balance between the two. Countries from across the world are coming to do business in India and vice versa. If too many speed breakers are put in place, it would make difficult to extract data. The Bill should not become an unintended barrier and end up adding to the cost and cumbersome of doing business in India," he said.
The long-awaited Bill regulates the processing of personal data of individuals by government and private entities incorporated in India and abroad. It requires setting up of a National Data Protection Authority (PDA) to supervise and regulate data fiduciaries.
Addressing concerns over how the Bill would regulate the process of seeking consent to use one’s data, he said, “Lot needs to be done after the law comes into place. The consent should be in as many languages as possible and easy to comprehend and not like any other legal document. We could also look for a ‘consent dashboard’ where once can see where all his data is being used," he said.