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data pr

Digital personal data protection bill gets cabinet approval

data pr

India’s own long-awaited digital personal data protection rules inch closer to becoming a reality. Multiple reports on Wednesday said the Union cabinet has given its nod to the ‘Digital Personal Data Protection Bill’.

Considering the timing, the bill is set to be presented during the upcoming session of the Parliament. Earlier, Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnav had also said the bill alongside a Telecom Bill will be presented during the Monsoon session.

India has been working on upgrading its dated IT laws, including digital data protection, for several years. Even as the government has already begun working on a Digital India Act, the upcoming digital personal data protection bill is a significantly shortened version of its withdrawn predecessor.

Nonetheless, the objective of the new bill is to regularize the processing of digital personal data in a manner that protects citizens’ privacy. It also aims to empower citizens to better control the information they share online.

For instance, data fiduciaries, which in this case are firms collecting personal data from individuals, must provide notice of why they are doing so.

A “Consent Manager” should be made available to review provided consent, and this entity should register with a Data Protection Board that will be set up by the government. Fiduciaries should obtain “verifiable parental consent” for collecting data from minors.

A data fiduciary should no longer retain information about a user (a “data principal”) once the purpose of keeping that data is no longer served.

The bill also calls for giving users the right to review and correct the data they have provided, as well as to remove such data. They should be able to nominate someone else in case of death or incapacitation. They should have the right to have their grievances processed by the data fiduciary.

There are a few exemptions as well. The bill’s provisions give the government-wide exemptions, as “any instrumentality of the State in the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, maintenance of public order or preventing incitement to any cognizable offense relating to any of these” will not be subject to its provisions.

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