Govt introduce data protection bill in winter session

Govt introduce data protection bill in winter session

With the Supreme Court, while delivering judgment on Aadhaar, emphasising the need for a law to protect personal data, the Centre is working on introducing a data protection bill in the Winter Session of Parliament.

The government has already started fine-tuning the proposed "The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018". As the deadline for obtaining comments from the public ending this month, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will take these inputs and finalise the bill at the earliest, a senior official in the ministry told DH.

After incorporating suitable comments from the public, the ministry will send the legislation to various ministries, including the law ministry for vetting. The ministry is certain that the bill will be tabled in the Winter Session which is likely to be held in November-December, said the official.

A high-level panel headed by Justice B N Srikrishna submitted the draft bill on data protection and a report on the recommendation on data protection to the government in July.

The draft bill suggested the steps for safeguarding personal information, defining obligations of data processors as also rights of individuals, and proposed penalties for violation.

The apex court on Wednesday, in its judgement on Aadhaar, observed that concerns were raised about the privacy and protection of data, which has become a matter of great concern. "Problem is not limited to data localisation but has become extra-territorial. There are issues of cross-border transfers of personal data," it said.

“The only existing legislation covering data protection related to biometric information are Section 43A and Section 72A of the IT Act and the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011 (hereinafter “Sensitive Personal DataRules”). Although the IT Act and Rules do not determine the constitutionality of the use of biometric data and information by the Aadhaar Act and Rules, they are instructive in determining the safeguards that must be taken to collect biometric information”, said the order.