Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Policies and interventions
- Recently, Facebook India’s policy head appeared before the 30-member Joint Committee of Parliament which is examining the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.
- Amazon declined to appear on the ground of risky travel amidst the pandemic.
- The committee has sought views from Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Google and Paytm on data security and protection amid concerns that the privacy of users is being compromised for commercial interest.
- Amazon’s refusal amounts to a breach of parliamentary privilege.
- The panel is unanimous about taking coercive action if no one from the company appears on the next date.
Important value additions
Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019
- It is commonly referred to as the Privacy Bill.
- It intends to protect individual rights by regulating the collection, movement, and processing of data that is personal, or which can identify the individual.
- In December 2019, Parliament approved sending it to the joint committee.
- The Bill gives the government powers to authorise the transfer of certain types of personal data overseas.
- It has also given exceptions allowing government agencies to collect personal data of citizens.
- The Bill divides the data into three categories: (1) Personal Data: Data from which an individual can be identified like name, address, etc. (2) Sensitive Personal Data: Personal data like financial, health-related, sexual orientation, biometric, caste, religious belief, etc.; (3) Critical Personal Data: Anything that the government at any time can deem critical, such as military or national security data.
- It removes the requirement of data mirroring in case of personal data.
- Only individual consent for data transfer abroad is required.
- The Bill requires companies and social media intermediaries to enable users in India to voluntarily verify their accounts.