Why did the government withdraw the Personal Data Protection Bill, where were the flaws left?

personal data protection bill 2021 was finally withdrawn. This bill was introduced by the then Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad two years ago. In December 2019, this bill was passed by JPC i.e. joint committee of both houses was sent to. Despite churning for two years, this bill was finally withdrawn in view of the need for more changes in it. from opposition Congress And TMC had strongly objected to this bill. The Joint Committee has suggested 81 amendments in it. Along with this, 12 recommendations have also been made.

In December 2021, a detail report along with the amended bill was presented before both the houses of Parliament. The central government says that considering such a large number of changes will require extensive legal consultation. Therefore, for the time being it is being withdrawn and now such a bill will be introduced afresh, which fits into every kind of legal framework.

Let us try to understand, what is Personal Data Protection Bill, what provisions were made in it and for what reasons it had to be withdrawn after a long time…

What is Personal Data Protection Bill?

Consider the Personal Data Protection Bill i.e. Personal Data Protection Bill broadly in such a way that this bill seeks to provide for the protection of personal data and establishes a Data Protection Authority for this. Under this, the regulatory body of the government will protect the personal data of citizens and take strict action against those responsible in case of data leak.

The bill was first drafted in 2018 by an expert committee headed by Justice BN Srikrishna. The Personal Data Protection Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019 by Ravi Shankar Prasad, the then Minister of Electronics and Information Technology. After this the bill was sent to JPC.

It also provides for setting up a data protection authority in the country to protect the digital privacy of citizens. Notably, the current version of the bill included both personal and non-personal data in its purview, which is to be dealt with by a data protection authority.

Explain in detail some points

  1. The bill provides a framework for protecting the privacy of personal data of individuals processed by entities (data fiduciaries).
  2. Sensitive personal data, such as financial or health data, can be transferred abroad, but must also be stored in the country. (This is in the interest of citizens.)
  3. The Bill creates a Data Protection Authority (DPA) at the national level to monitor and regulate data fiduciaries. (This is in the interest of citizens and gives grounds to complain of disturbances.)
  4. The bill gives certain rights to the data principal i.e. citizens that he can get his data corrected. They can confirm that his personal data has been processed and can also demand a ban on his continued disclosure. (This is also in the interest of citizens.)
  5. It may be processed for a specific purpose only after the consent of the data principal, but its consent is not required for processing by the State in case of medical emergency or for providing benefits or services. (On this point the opposition objected.)
  6. The Bill exempts many of its provisions when data is processed in the interest of national security, or for the prevention, investigation or prosecution of an offence. (The opposition has objections to this point.)

Why was the bill withdrawn?

The bill is being opposed since 2019. Ever since this bill was introduced, the opposition has opposed it. Especially Congress and Trinamool Congress raised their voice against this bill in Parliament. After this the government sent the bill to JPC. The opposition alleges that

  1. This data privacy law violates the fundamental rights of the citizens of this country, so there is no justification for passing this law.
  2. The opposition also alleged that in the name of national security, the government gets a huge right to access the personal data of the people, which is not right.

The withdrawn bill proposed a ban on the use of personal data without the explicit consent of citizens. Provisions were also made in this bill to empower the government to exempt its investigative agencies from the provisions of the Act. Opposition MPs strongly opposed this.

Actually, the basis of processing of personal data has been fixed in this bill, but in some special circumstances, there is a provision for data processing without permission. Under the Bill, fiduciaries are allowed to process data only if individuals have consented, but the consent of citizens will not be required if it is required by the state for national security, legal process, medical emergency or providing facilities to individuals. . The biggest objection is on this point.

Why didn’t the government repeal the bill earlier?

It is also an important question that when there were so many flaws in the bill or there was so much dissatisfaction with the bill, why did the government not cancel it earlier. In an interview, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav explained why it took so long for the government to scrap the bill. He said, “It took us a few months after the JCP submitted its report. This was the time when we could start working on a new draft or think what to do with the old draft. Our intention is very clear.”

He said, “What we are doing is basically in line with what the Supreme Court has asked us to do. I completely understand that there has been a delay, but the subject was very complicated. We could have taken it back four months ago, but before doing anything, we needed a little serious, a little bit of deliberation.”

Get the more Knowledge information