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Indian govt rolls back Personal Data Protection Bill 2019

Critical Security Bug Exposes Aadhaar and Biometric Data on West Bengal Government Portal

The Indian government on Wednesday withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 from Parliament stating that it working to bring a “comprehensive legal framework” for regulating online space. The proposed Bill aimed to regulate the use of digital data of citizens by companies and the government.

Union Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in a statement noted that the fresh bill is being framed in a way that it fits into the comprehensive legal framework with reference to the suggestions made by the Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP) on the Bill. He further noted that the Bill had been “deliberated in great detail” by the JPC which had proposed 81 amendments as well as 12 recommendations for a comprehensive legal framework for the digital ecosystem.

The statement said, “Considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon. Hence, in the circumstances, it is proposed to withdraw the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, and present a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework.” Vaishnaw told Reuters the government that the new bill, “is in good advanced stages”, with a public release “very close”.

Union minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar shared the notice on Twitter. Tdy @GoI_MeitY withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill,2021 from Parliament This will soon be replaced by a comprehensive framework of Global std laws includng Digital Privacy laws for contemporary & future chllnges n catalyze PM @narendramodi ji vision of #IndiaTechade,” the tweet said.

The PBP Bill was introduced in Parliament back in December  2019. However, it faced pushback from a range of stakeholders including tech companies and privacy activists and was referred to the JCP for examination. The committee presented its report to the Lok Sabha on December 16, 2021.

Big tech players like Facebook and Twitter have also feared that the bill would create a host of technical and policy issues as after being implemented, the bill will increase their compliance burden and data storage requirements, according to Reuters report.

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