India To Have Data Protection Bill To Fix Privacy Concern After Facebook Fiasco

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In the wake of the whole data-leak fiasco, lately, there’s been heightening in the need to protect the privacy of individuals in India. Learning the hard way, India, unfortunately, didn’t have any digital privacy laws to safeguard user information, until now. But all of that may be about to change very soon.

This transformation is most likely since the Srikrishna Committee is in its concluding stage of drafting the data protection bill. This mandate plugs away at wide issue bracket, including data localisation, consent, proprietary rights, purpose restrictions, etc.

The much-awaited data protection mandate may soon be submitted, any day in this week, to The Minister of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT) as the recommendations on the draft Data Protection Bill are ready.

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Since its dawn in August 2017, the Srikrishna Committee’s objective of the Data Protection Bill has been to ensure the growth of the digital economy of the country, coupled with the need to secure and protect personal data of citizens.

Sources, further, claim that if there are no more discussions, the draft will be directed to the Cabinet. The recommendations come at a time when issues revolving around data leakage is surfacing the spectrum, and harvesting of data of Indian citizens through social media sites, with malicious intentions. This mandate also underlines the idea of Government which doesn’t want double-crossing, fraudulent data mining firms to improperly gain access to social media data of Indian citizens.

Indian Privacy Policies

Over more than half-a-decade, India has seen multiple attempts at pacifying data protection and privacy legislation, but only to be knocked off later on. There’s no denying that, India needs a robust data privacy enactments and a firm legal framework for data protection. For an emerging, data-driven sphere of India as of now, this mandate won’t be the first initiative. Recently, a model bill was drafted as well, in order to shape up data protection laws in India.

Previously Hatched Model Private Bill:

A group of privacy policy analysts, in collaboration with few key-note lawyers, drafted a model bill on privacy and data protection on June 8th.

Known as the ‘Save our Privacy’ campaign, the draft law describes itself as a “community and public interest project”. Prompted by the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), a non-profit organisation, this initiative is to steer clear the haze around protecting digital rights.

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This model bill is titled as the “Indian Privacy Code, 2018”, has been drafted by a group of lawyers, who have been a part of the Srikrishna Committee on its call for comments on a white paper. This model bill strives to address issues relating to user privacy and digital rights in a comprehensive manner, a tad bit different from Srikrishna Committee’s approach which is limited to data protection.

Privacy Enactments in Start-Ups :

Comparing privacy policies of Indian Corporate Firms to that of International companies, one may find a distinct gap of difference which may not be bridged soon. Indian privacy legislation is not much on the hook, as compared to, European or American law.

Again, resonating why Indian companies do not have equal rights as seen in International policies is maybe due to the fact that, Indian Law couldn’t gauge the need well and thought that it requires limited rights. For a startup, the main objective of any existing policy is merely just to ensure compliance with Indian IT Act and that’d be just it.

However, with the Srikrishna committee report, there are significant changes for the users, as well as industry players for comprehensive data protection. This will alter the legal framework that companies will adhere to, and preferably, in a good way.

The Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEIT) decides how the Indian government can nail down user’s data be protected while accessing online services and with 1.3 billion users in India, this mandate may usher in some harsh market-altering tactics for companies.

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