Lok Sabha passes Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023

The Lok Sabha on Monday ( 07 August 2023) passed the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 amid noisy scenes. The Bill has provisions for processing of digital personal data in a manner that recognises both the right of individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process such personal data for lawful purposes. According to the Bill, a person may process the personal data of an individual for a lawful purpose on the basis of their consent and for certain legitimate uses. The Bill has a provision to set up the Data Protection Board of India. The Board on receipt of an intimation of personal data breach will inquire the matter and impose penalty.

While determining the amount of monetary penalty to be imposed, the Board will consider the nature, gravity and duration of the breach and the type, and nature of the personal data affected by the breach. The Bill states that individuals have the right to correction, completion, updating and erasure of their personal data of which they have previously given consent. According to the Bill, a penalty of 250 crore rupees can be imposed in case of breach in observing the obligation of data fiduciary of personal data.

Moving the Bill, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, the legislation is intended to protect the digital personal data of 140 crore Indians. He said around 90 crore people of India are connected with the internet and this bill has been brought for the protection of security and privacy of the people in this digital world. He said the bill has provisions of storage limitation of personal data, reasonable safeguard of data and principle of accountability with regard to data. He said the language of the Bill has been kept simple so that common man can understand the provisions. He clarified that the legislation does not undermine the provisions of RTI Act. The Minister criticised the opposition alleging that they are not concerned about the interest of the people.

Initiating the discussion, P P Chaudhury of BJP said the bill is significant in the current time. He said consent is the foundation of this bill with regard to personal data as only after getting consent the data can be processed for lawful purpose. Sri Krishna Devarayalu Lavu of YSR Congress supported the Bill saying that the Data Protection Board of India is a good move. However, he raised some concern over some provisions of the Bill. Supporting the bill, Shrikant Shinde of Shiv Sena said that the bill would ensure data safety. Jayadev Galla of TDP too supported the bill while Ritesh Pandey of BSP opposed the bill. The Bill was passed with brief discussion amid continuous protest by the opposition parties over the issue of Manipur violence.

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