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Safeguarding Data: Experts discuss the draft bill

videos | Dec 17, 2021 5:25 PM IST

Safeguarding Data: Experts discuss the draft bill

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The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Data Protection Bill, headed by BJP MP PP Chaudhary, on Thursday tabled its report in both the Houses of Parliament. The committee in its report recommended widening the scope of the data protection legislation to include both personal and non-personal data. Even though there is no clarity on what could be construed as critical or sensitive data, the JPC has left it open for the government to prescribe.

The report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Data Protection Bill which has been tabled in both houses has recommended that social media companies that do not function as intermediaries be treated as publishers and held accountable for the content on their platforms.

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Moreover, even though there is no clarity on what could be construed as critical or sensitive data, the JPC has left it open for the government to prescribe.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, NS Nappinai, Advocate at Supreme Court & Founder of Cyber Saathi said, “On the Data Protection Authority, it is a long road ahead for them and there is a lot of work to be done by the Data Protection Authority. If you look at the 2018 draft, everything is vested with the Data Protection Authority. So in that sense, it was incorrect too because the Data Protection Authority was the executive-legislative and the judicial functions, all in one. That was not a good structure either and the 2019 draft diluted the powers of the Data Protection Authority by bringing in the oversight with respect to the central government.”
She added, “When you look at the JPC committee report, and its recommendations, I feel that there has been a further dilution in terms of the role and the powers that will vest with the Data Protection Authority without actually diluting the duties that are enforced on them. Now it is likely to perform more as an agency of the government rather than as an autonomous body on par with something like the RBI.”
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