Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

  • IASbaba
  • October 28, 2020
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Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Policies and interventions 

In news

  • 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.

Key takeaways 

  • 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.

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