India: Data Protection Bill set to prompt behavioral shifts among data-exploiting platforms

The forthcoming Digital Personal Data Protection Bill is poised to bring about substantial behavioral transformations among platforms that have persistently exploited or misused personal data in India.

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Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has stated that the forthcoming Monsoon session of Parliament will introduce the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill. After its withdrawal in August last year, the draft bill has undergone significant revisions, outlining the rights of citizens concerning their personal data. It includes provisions that hold entities responsible for handling personal data accountable for ensuring its safety, security, and responsible management.

Furthermore, the minister noted that while the bill will hold accountable those platforms that have engaged in unfair practices, it will not adversely affect those who have operated in a lawful manner.

According to an explanatory note accompanying the draft bill, its objective is to establish regulations for handling digital personal data while upholding individuals’ rights to safeguard their personal information and recognising the lawful processing of such data for various purposes.

The proposed data protection legislation introduces provisions that permit the transfer and storage of personal data in specific countries, along with increased penalties for violations. It emphasises the requirement of obtaining consent before collecting personal data and includes stringent penalties of up to Rs 500 crore for individuals and companies that fail to prevent data breaches, including accidental disclosures, sharing, or alteration of personal data. The revised draft legislation will bring about significant behavioural changes among platforms that have long exploited or misused personal data.