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Stakeholders raise concern over new data protection draft bill

technology | Dec 23, 2022 7:13 PM IST

Stakeholders raise concern over new data protection draft bill

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Stakeholders have raised concerns over the data protection draft bill overriding the Right to Information (RTI) Act and excluding personal information pertaining to bureaucrats, elected leaders from being shared.

Stakeholders have raised concerns over the data protection draft bill overriding the Right to Information (RTI) Act and excluding personal information pertaining to bureaucrats and elected leaders from being shared.

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The data protection bill overriding the RTI Act says that irrespective of larger public interest, personal information regarding bureaucrats as well as elected leaders will not be shared under RTI.
So personal information could include your personal wealth, your assets, and disclosures which are ideally sought for propriety that will no longer be available under RTI.
The response that was given is that privacy is a fundamental right, it supersedes the right to information, which is not a fundamental right.
Other concerns were raised on the penalty clause, the penalty that is levied under the draft protection bill says Rs 500 crore of the maximum penalty.
The feedback that has been forthcoming from various startups in fact, is that there should be a percentage of the revenue so that the pain is commensurate to the size of the company, so that small companies pay small and the big companies pay big.
Also, issues of compliance were raised. There is a concept of consent manager that has been introduced, so I can nominate another person to be my consent manager for giving consent to an intermediary. The concern that has been raised is that this is a new middleman that has been created and could cause compliance concerns.
Finally, the issue that was also raised is the issue of age gating. There is a separate criterion of consent required for minors, for people below the age of 18, which again, raises the issue of compliance. So a number of these concerns were raised, and the response largely from the ministry has been that it will welcome feedback coming in from various stakeholders. But at the same breadth also points out that this is a new age for intermediaries, as well as for online companies, that business as usual will not continue and that a new sense of responsiveness will be the norm going forward.
With that, the stakeholder consultation we understand will continue. That bill is still open for public comments till January of next year.
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