India’s upcoming draft data bill set to lower age limit for user consent to 14 years

India’s proposed data protection bill may lower the age limit for user consent to process personal data to 14 years, satisfying the demands of internet companies, but usage will be limited to cases where the child benefits, with restrictions on personal advertisements and harmful content.

digital representation of India

The upcoming data protection bill proposed in India is likely to permit the government to reduce the age limit for user consent to process personal data to as low as 14 years, provided that the company can demonstrate the safe use of the data. The earlier version of the draft had proposed 18 years as the minimum age for data consent, but the lowering of the age of consent in the new draft will be consistent with the biggest demand of internet companies like Meta and Google as it impacts their business significantly.

According to a top government official, the new rule will give the government the authority to permit the handling of children’s personal information only in situations where the child is the primary beneficiary. ‘In certain critical sectors such as healthcare or where the child is the end beneficiary of a government scheme, there might arise the need for data to be processed. Under no circumstances, however, such data will be allowed to be used to serve personal advertisements or any harmful content,’ the official stated.