In the recent news, the Indian government has withdrawn its long-awaited Personal Data Protection and Privacy Bill which attracted scrutiny from several privacy advocates and tech giants who feared the legislation could confine how they handled sensitive information while giving the government broad powers to access it. The Personal Data Protection and Privacy Bill sought to empower Indian citizens with rights relating to their data.
India is the World’s Second-Largest Internet Market
India is the world’s second-largest internet market, which has seen an explosion of personal data in the past decade as hundreds of citizens came online for the first time and started consuming scores of apps. But there has been uncertainty on how much power the individuals, private companies, and government agencies have over it.
“The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was deliberated in great detail by the Joint Committee of Parliament 81 amendments were proposed and 12 recommendations were made towards a comprehensive legal framework on 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,” India’s IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a written statement Wednesday.
Personal Data Protection and Privacy Bill Drew Criticism from Several Industry Stakeholders
The Personal Data Protection and Privacy Bill drew criticism from many industry stakeholders. New Delhi-based privacy advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation said the bill “provides large exemptions to government departments, prioritizes the interests of big corporations, and does not adequately respect your fundamental right to privacy.”
Meta, Google, and Amazon were some of the companies that had expressed concerns about some of the recommendations by the joint parliamentary committee on the proposed bill. The bill also mandated that companies may only store certain categories of “sensitive” and “critical” data, including financial, health, and biometric information in India.