IT industry seeks participation in discussion on new data protection law

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The government on Wednesday repealed the Lok Sabha’s Personal Data Protection Act.

New Delhi:

IT industry players appreciate the government’s decision to repeal the Personal Data Protection Act and have requested to participate in the consultation process for the new draft.

The industry was critical of the data protection law tabled in parliament by the Joint Committee on the Personal Data Protection Act.

The Joint Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, led by BJP member PP Chaudhary, had submitted its report in Lok Sabha on December 16, 2021, which contained several points other than the draft Bill Protection Data Bill (PDP) , prepared by the Ministry of Electronics and IT.

The government on Wednesday repealed the Lok Sabha’s personal data protection law, saying it will come up with a “set of new legislation” that will fit into the comprehensive legal framework.

The US-based ITI, which includes all IT majors such as Google, Meta and Amazon, appreciated the government’s decision to withdraw the parliamentary panel version of the bill.

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“ITI welcomes Meity’s plan to implement robust stakeholder consultation as it rethinks a comprehensive legal privacy framework for the digital ecosystem. ITI participated in all consultation processes during the drafting of the 2019 PDP Act and is eager to continue our engagement.

“We are confident that the government will consider all views once the framework consultation begins and we look forward to participating,” said ITI country manager for India, Kumar Deep.

ITI was one of the global industry associations that had opposed the joint committee version of the bill. Such global industry associations have included JEITA, TechUK, US India Business Council and Business Europe, representing thousands of companies and technology majors such as Google, Amazon, Cisco, Dell, SoftBank and Microsoft.

About a dozen industry associations had written to the Union’s IT and telecoms minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, that the implementation of the proposed data protection law, as recommended by a parliamentary panel, will significantly worsen the business environment in India and slow the influx of foreign investment. Reduce.

Meta had said in a regulatory filing in February that proposed data protection bills in countries such as India are considering or have passed legislation that implements data protection requirements or requires local data storage and processing or similar requirements that reduce the cost and complexity of providing our Services. .

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“New legislation or regulatory decisions that limit our ability to collect and use information about minors may also result in restrictions on our advertising services or our ability to offer products and services to minors in certain jurisdictions,” it said.

Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) said the bill has been withdrawn after four years of deliberations.

“We are cautiously following these developments and hope that the ministry will take this opportunity to address the numerous criticisms of the bill from various stakeholders during the consultation process,” IFF said.

According to IFF, the Data Protection Bill 2021, which should give users rights over their own personal information, had not prioritized the user and instead benefits the government and large companies far more than users.

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IFF had said in a newspaper that the bill gives major exemptions to government services, prioritizes the interests of large companies and does not sufficiently respect people’s fundamental right to privacy.

“This step, when taken with the lack of knowledge about data protection in India, could be dangerous on an individual level – where your day-to-day privacy is threatened – and on a collective level, given how it considers mass surveillance,” IFF supposedly had.

Jiten Jain, director of cybersecurity firm Voyager Infosec, said the government’s decision to withdraw the bill shows that it is well aware of the concerns expressed by some parts of the industry and civil society.

“We expect that the new version of the bill will be comprehensive and address all major concerns expressed by stakeholders.

However, the government must act quickly with the new version of the bill as we cannot allow foreign companies to fool our citizens’ data,” Jain said.

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