Data protection has been a critical aspect of advocacy and governance all across the world. Data fuels our cyber-ecosystem and strengthens the era of emerging technologies. All industries and sectors are now dependent upon the data of the user. The governments across the world have been deliberating internally to address the issue and legality of Data protection and privacy. The Indian government has witnessed various draft bills and policies focusing on Data protection over the years, and the contemporary bill is the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023, which was tabled at the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) on 03 August for discussions and parliamentary assent.
What is DPDP, 2023?
The goal of the complete and comprehensive Digital Personal Data Protection Bill of 2023 is to establish a framework for the protection of personal data in India. The measure acknowledges the significance of protecting personal data and seeks to strike a balance between the necessity to process personal data for legitimate purposes and the right of individuals to do so. The bill establishes a number of crucial expressions and ideas associated with the protection of personal data, including “data fiduciary,” “data principal,” and “sensitive personal data.” It also emphasises the duties of data fiduciaries, including the need to establish suitable security measures to preserve personal data and the need to secure data principals’ consent before processing their personal information. The measure also creates the Data Protection Board of India, which would implement its requirements and guarantee data fiduciaries’ compliance. The board will have the authority to look into grievances, give directives, and impose sanctions for non-compliance.
Key Features of the Bill
The bill tabled at the parliament has the following key features:
- The 2023 bill imposes reasonable obligations on data fiduciaries and data processors to safeguard digital personal data.
- Under the 2023 bill, a new Data Protection Board is established, which will ensure compliance, remedies and penalties.
- Under the new bill, the Board has been entrusted with the power equivalent to a civil court, such as the power to take cognisance in response to personal data breaches, investigate complaints, imposing penalties. Additionally, the Board can issue directions to ensure compliance with the act.
- The 2023 bill also secures more rights of Individuals and establishes a balance between user protection and growing innovations.
- The bill creates a transparent and accountable data governance framework by giving more rights to individuals.
- There is an Incorporation of Business-friendly provisions by removing criminal penalties for non-compliance and facilitating international data transfers.
- The new 2023 bill balances out fundamental privacy rights and puts reasonable limitations on those rights.
- The new data protection board will carefully examine the instance of non-compliance by imposing penalties on non-compiler.
- The bill does not provide any express clarity in regards to compensation to be granted to the Data Principal in case of a Data Breach.
- Under 2023 Deemed consent is there in its new form as ‘Legitimate Users’ pertaining to the conditions in regard to Sovernity and Intergrity of India.
- There is an introduction of the negative list, which restricts cross-data transfer.
Additionally, the measure makes special provisions for the processing of children’s personal data and acknowledges the significance of protecting children’s privacy. Additionally, it highlights the rights of the data subjects, including their right to access their personal information, their right to have wrong information corrected, and their right to be forgotten.
A campaign was undertaken by CyberPeace to gain a critical understanding of what people understand about Data privacy and protection in India. The 4-month long campaign led to a pan-India interaction with netizens from different areas and backgrounds. The thoughts and opinions of the netizens were understood and collated in the form of a whitepaper which was, in turn, presented to Parliamentarians and government officials. The whitepaper laid the foundation of the recommendations submitted to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as part of the stakeholder consultation.
Overall, the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill of 2023 is an important step towards safeguarding Indian citizens’ privacy and personal data. It creates a regulatory agency to guarantee compliance and enforcement and offers a thorough framework for data protection. The law includes special measures for the protection of sensitive personal data and the personal data of children and acknowledges the significance of striking a balance between the right to privacy and the necessity of data processing.