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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill 2023 Passed in Rajya Sabha: Key Highlights

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 (DPDP Bill) has been successfully passed in the Rajya Sabha, marking a significant step towards safeguarding the privacy and security of Indian citizens’ digital data. This legislation comes after the Lok Sabha’s approval on Monday and aims to address the misuse of personal data by online platforms.

Key Points from the DPDP Bill:

  1. Passage in Rajya Sabha: The Rajya Sabha approved the DPDP Bill through a voice vote on August 9. The passage followed an opposition walkout due to issues related to Manipur.
  2. Protection of Data Misuse: The DPDP Bill is designed to curtail the misuse of individuals’ data by online platforms. The bill imposes obligations on both private and government entities concerning the collection and processing of citizens’ data.
  3. IT Minister’s Statement: Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw mentioned that while it would have been preferable for the opposition to discuss the bill in the House, there was a lack of concern among opposition leaders for citizens’ rights.
  4. Foundation of the Bill: The legislation comes six years after the Supreme Court of India recognized the “Right to Privacy” as a fundamental right. The bill preserves the contents of the original version proposed in November, including exemptions for the Central government.
  5. Penalties and Data Protection: The bill introduces penalties of up to Rs 250 crore for entities that misuse or fail to safeguard individuals’ digital data. It also mandates that companies protect personal data even if it’s stored with third-party data processors. In case of data breaches, companies are required to inform the Data Protection Board (DPB) and users.
  6. Consent and Data Processing: The bill emphasizes processing the data of children and physically disabled individuals with guardians’ consent. Additionally, companies must appoint a Data Protection Officer and provide detailed information to users.
  7. Data Protection Board: The legislation allows for the establishment of a Data Protection Board (DPB), responsible for addressing complaints related to data breaches. The DPB also possesses the authority to recommend content removal or the blocking of digital intermediaries in the public interest.

Industry Responses:

  1. Puneet Gupta, VP & MD at NetApp, highlights the DPDP Bill’s importance in promoting data protection, innovation, and economic growth.
  2. Sunil Sharma, VP – Sales India and SAARC at Sophos, praises the bill for strengthening India’s cybersecurity posture and protecting citizens from cyber threats.
  3. Ajit Thomas, CMO at Cavli Wireless, applauds the creation of a Data Protection Board and emphasizes the need to secure data in connected devices.
  4. Nishant Behl, Founder of Expand My Business, lauds the DPDP Bill for safeguarding digital platform users’ privacy and creating a fair business environment.

The passage of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 in the Rajya Sabha represents a crucial step toward protecting citizens’ digital privacy and establishing a framework for responsible data handling. The bill’s provisions aim to ensure transparency, security, and accountability in the collection and processing of personal data, ultimately fostering trust in the digital ecosystem.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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