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Government to release reworked draft data bill in public domain soon

technology | Nov 9, 2022 7:02 PM IST

Government to release reworked draft data bill in public domain soon

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The broader theme that the government is trying to convey is that it is looking for a simple regime, looking for ease and compliance, looking for a regime that is not averse to startups, that is supportive of startups.

The government will release a reworked Draft Data Protection Bill for feedback after withdrawing it from the Parliament in August. The draft bill is likely to keep social media companies outside the regulatory ambit because there were concerns of overlapping.

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It has been understood that the government has paid heed to some of the advices that they received from some of the intermediary, some of the stakeholders. In terms of the deadline,  it will be opened up for public consultation by November-end or early-December.
The broader theme that the government is trying to convey is that it is looking for a simple regime, looking for ease and compliance, looking for a regime that is not averse to startups, that is supportive of startups.
There are a couple of takeaways here that are important to keep in mind. There was a lot of feedback received on account of data localisation, storage, and processing norms. These are conditions, which one understands that are likely to be relaxed. That's one.
The other important takeaway is social media companies, intermediaries. The earlier regime, the earlier bill that was before the Parliament had sought for overriding powers being given to the Data Protection Authority that it would exercise over these intermediaries — it has been understood that the social media companies, given that they're already regulated under the IT Act, are likely to be taken out of the regulatory ambit of the Data Protection Bill. So that's the second key takeaway.
The third is — this data protection bill was found to be excessive, as it went even as far as to specify conditions for hardware and for devices. That is, again something that in fact received a lot of backlash from stakeholders in the industry. And that is something that the bill will be aware of, will be wary of and will keep these devices and regulating them out of the ambit of the Data Protection Bills.
However, clearly all eyes now on the government, on MeitY for releasing it for public consultation. And that's when we can begin to get more clarity on the timeline going forward.
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