New Delhi – A historic decision has been taken by Indian lawmakers with the passing of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 on Wednesday. The new law will shape the way tech companies handle users’ data in India. However, it has stirred both support and concern across different sections of society.
Under the newly passed law, companies will have the option to transfer some users’ data abroad. Meanwhile, the government will be endowed with the ability to seek information from companies and even direct them to block content. These decisions will be guided by a data protection board appointed by the federal government.
A remarkable change, the law allows for the possibility of penalties as high as 2.5 billion rupees (about $30 million) for violations and non-compliance. This reflects the government’s serious commitment to enforcing these new rules.
However, the passage of this law is not without controversy. It also gives the government powers to exempt state agencies and enables users to correct or erase their personal data. These provisions have drawn sharp criticism from opposition lawmakers and rights groups.
The Internet Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group for digital rights, has expressed concern over a lack of safeguards against “over-broad surveillance.” The Editors Guild of India has further added that the law may negatively impact press freedom and weaken the Right to Information law.
In contrast, supporters of the law, including Deputy Minister for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar, have praised the legislation. Chandrasekhar stated that the law will protect citizens’ rights, boost the innovation economy, and grant the government legitimate access in matters of national security and emergencies, such as pandemics and earthquakes.
This latest development follows India’s withdrawal of a 2019 privacy bill that had previously caused unrest among tech giants like Facebook and Google.
In conclusion, the passage of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill marks a significant step in India’s technological evolution. As it aims to balance the protection of individual privacy with government access for security, its real impact will be seen in the months and years ahead.
This news is based on the article from thestar.com.my.