Home / Technology / News /  Shashi Tharoor led parliamentary panel summons Twitter, IRCTC: Here's why?

The microblogging site Twitter and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have been summoned to appear before the Congress MP Shashi Tharoor-led Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology on Aug 26, 2022.

Twitter and the railway ticketing app have been called to discuss concerns over “citizens’ data security and privacy". This parliamentary meeting comes days after the Central Government withdrew the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019. Moreover, this bill would be replaced by a new bill.

According to sources from PTI, the Congress MP led parliamentary panel will question the microblogging site on its management and composition. Reportedly, Twitter could be questioned about whether it has extended favours to any specific political party in India.

Meanwhile, the railway ticketing app has more than 10 crore users and recently it has hired a consultant to monetise its passenger data. The parliamentary committee might question IRCTC for reasons to hire a consultant. IRCTC can also be questioned about the tender floated to hire for the consultant’s job, as per the report.

Reportedly, the Shashi Tharoor led panel has held several meetings with various stakeholders regarding data security and privacy. These stakeholders are tech companies, social media firms, ministries, and other regulators. Moreover, this committee would likely finalise its report before August 30, 2022.

To recall, the Central Government has recently withdrawn the Data Protection Bill (PDP) which was first proposed in 2019. Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the Centre was taking the decision as a parliamentary panel's review of the bill had suggested 81 amendments, leading to the need for a new "comprehensive legal framework".

He said that the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was deliberated in great detail by the Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP) and 81 amendments were proposed and 12 recommendations were made toward a comprehensive legal framework for the digital ecosystem.

"Considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon Hence, in the circumstances, it is proposed to withdraw 'The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019' and present a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework," he said.

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