Parliamentary committee report on data protection bill in monsoon session

Parliamentary committee report on data protection bill in monsoon session
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23 Mar, 2020

Submission of the report by the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on Personal Data Protection Bill has been extended to the second week of the monsoon session before the parliament adjourned sine-die on Monday in the wake of Covid-19. 

The 30-member JPC chaired by Meenakshi Lekhi, which was appointed in December 2019, was expected to submit its report by the first day of the last week of the budget session 2020. The committee has met four times so far, with the last meeting held on March 17.

Indian industry bodies and global companies in the technology space reportedly met the committee to discuss issues pertaining to the inclusion of non-personal data in the bill and the exemptions granted to government departments for demanding non-personal data from companies. 

The JPC had also asked for industry inputs on the bill by February 25. Multiple industry bodies and advocacy groups have written to the committee, highlighting weakening of the data protection authority (DPA), and data localisation requirements

The bill, which was approved for tabling by the cabinet in the Winter Session, is different from the initial 213-page bill.

An earlier version of the bill was framed on the basis of a report submitted by Justice BN Srikrishna committee. The data protection bill will also pave the way for national e-commerce policy and intermediary guidelines amendment.