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National News

Dec 11, 2019

Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 introduces in Lok Sabha

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, with the Opposition staging a walkout. The Minister said the Bill will be sent to a Joint Select Committee comprising members from both the Houses, including the Opposition.

He said although the Supreme Court has held that individuals’ data protection is their fundamental right, the corrupt do not have the privilege of privacy. The Minister said the Bill has been drafted after holding extensive consultations with various stakeholders across the country.

He said the Justice Krishna Committee established for the purpose has gone in detail about various dimensions of data protection. He said more than two thousand responses from different people on data privacy have also been considered.

The Minister elaborated that critical data on individuals will not be allowed to go out of the country though sensitive data like name, age and gender can be used but only with the express permission of the individual concerned and to the extent his or her consent has been given.

Mr Prasad noted that there is an information explosion taking place with the number of mobile phones outnumbering the population. He said information on the data will be useful for economic activities of the country as well.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of Congress contented that the bill is against the spirit of the apex court ruling, saying it can promote snooping. Saugata Roy of AITC said the Bill enables surveillance of private individuals. He suggested that the Bill be sent to the House Standing Committee. Later, the Opposition, including the Congress, DMK, AITC, NCP and Shiv Sena, staged a walk out and the Bill was introduced by a voice vote.

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