ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Setback for Data Privacy Rights

The pullback of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 has nullified the multi-year efforts put in by various stakeholders that have gone into shaping the bill. The promise of a “comprehensive legal framework” to protect the citizens’ data is a hollow one, coming with no clear deadlines or underlying principles.

The union government’s withdrawal of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (hereafter the PDP Bill) from Parliament during the 2022 monsoon session (Singh 2022) is a loss for the Indian citizens and an admission of defeat on the part of the government in its attempt to bring “big tech” (meaning the handful of dominant, the United States (US)-based tech multinationals) to heel. The last version to be withdrawn by the union government is the third iteration of the PDP Bill (Bhandari 2022), starting with the one proposed by the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee back in 2018.1

The justification offered by the union minister for electronics and information technology on the floor of Parliament, that in light of the recommendations made by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) a comprehensive legal framework is being worked on (Singh 2022), does not hold much water. On the contrary, given the consistent pressure against the PDP Bill from the multinational digital technologies or “big tech,” backed by the US government (Barik and Aryan 2022), it is entirely conceivable that the withdrawal of the PDP Bill was the result of the pressure from outside the country.

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Updated On : 23rd Aug, 2022
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