Newsletter- Data Privacy In India – Need of the Hour-Jan 2021
Larger questions regarding the need for a data protection framework and privacy policies.
The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is under review by the Joint Parliamentary Committee and is bound to be presented before the Parliament this year. In the meanwhile, there is glaring gap in the law when it comes to protecting an individual’s right to privacy. The migration of users to privacy friendly businesses is a welcome yet inadequate sign of the evolving privacy environment in India. The increasing user awareness regarding privacy is a sign for businesses to project a privacy conscious image. While most businesses have already implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) operational in EU, the remaining businesses need to start integrating privacy practices.
The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 had envisaged clauses inspired from the GDPR, some key aspects are-
• Wide scope and extra territorial application of the law
• Classification of data based on sensitive personal data, critical personal data with added compliances
• Establishment of a data protection authority
• Increased compliance with privacy principles along the lines of GDPR
• Increased compliance where children’s data is involved
• Rights of individuals regarding their personal data
• Frameworks for cross boundary data transfers/ data localisation requirements
• Sharing of personal and non-personal data with the government
• The designated authority and government will have greater power in coming up with codes of conduct and deciding what is critical data
• Large penalties for contravention of the law
The Joint Parliamentary Committee in charge of reviewing the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 has come up with substantial changes and is set to present its recommendations at the start of 2021. The suspense mounts regarding how the committee has dealt with certain key conflicts and issues in the bill. We will be coming up with an update on the evolution of privacy laws in India to put into context the new report that will be shortly tabled before the Parliament, along with other latest developments on privacy laws in India.