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A Complete Guide to the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

India is on course to getting a Personal Data Protection Act, which will impact how businesses collect data about users, and the rights that users have over the data that is collected about them. At present, the legislation is in a draft stage, and a Joint Parliamentary Committee will soon invite comments from stakeholders. Keeping that in mind, MediaNama has prepared a guide to the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, that gives you an overview of the Bill, its history, concerns, and what people think about it.

How to submit your comments to the Joint Parliamentary Committee?
You can email two copies of your comments in either Hindi or English to:
Dr M.L.K. Raja,  Director, Joint Parliamentary Committee, Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 at jpc-datalaw@sansad.nic.in, or to the JPC Chairperson Meenakshi Lekhi at mrs.lekhi@sansad.nic.in

If you wish to make an appearance before the Committee, mention that in your comments.
Deadline: February 25, 2020

  1. The Bills:
    1. Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 [download]
    2. Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 [download]
  2. Other key reading material:
    1. Srikrishna Committee Report (on which the 2018 Bill was based) [download]
    2. Dvara Research’s Personal Data Protection Bill [download]
    3. MP Shashi Tharoor’s Data Protection Bill [read]
    4. MP Jay Panda’s Data Protection Bill [read]
    5. SaveOurPrivacy.in bill [read]
    6. TRAI recommendations on privacy [read], [comments]
  3. Key Highlights of the PDP Bill, 2019:
    1. Key aspects of the PDP Bill, 2019 are here
    2. FAQs on the PDP Bill: [by Ikigai law]
    3. Key changes in the PDP Bill between 2018 and 2019 [by sflc.in]
    4. Highlights of the 2018 bill are here, here and here by DSCI
  4. MediaNama Expert comments on the Bill:
    1. Considering consent and offences by Vrinda Bhandari and Rishab Bailey [read]
    2. Regulatory governance under the PDP Bill: A powerful ship with an unchecked captain? by Smriti Parsheera [read]
    3. Considering data localisation and its effects on payments by Nikhil Sud [read]
    4. Looking at social media intermediaries and significant data fiduciaries, including political parties by Sajan Poovayya and Priyadarshi Banerjee [read]
    5. Protecting children’s data online by Smitha Krishna Prasad [read]
    6. Looking at use of video recordings, facial recognition software and drones by police by Vaneesha Jain [read]
    7. Will the PDP Bill rid us of pesky and creepy ads? by Divij Joshi [read]
    8. Does the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, protect citizens’ privacy from government surveillance? by Pallavi Bedi [read]
    9. How will India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, impact schools? by Rahul Narayan [read]
    10. Considering impact on the healthcare sector by Abhishek Malhotra and Bagmisikha Puhan [read]
    11. Considering its impact on housing societies by Jyotsna Jayaram [read]
    12. Are matrimonial websites divorced from user privacy? by Kriti Trehan [read]
  5. Discussions on the PDP Bill, 2019:
    1. User rights and companies:
      1. Looking at how well the Bill protects user rights [read]
      2. Impact of the Bill on companies [read]
    2. Government access to data:
      1. Issues around surveillance in the Bill [read]
      2. Improving the Bill to safeguard against surveillance [read]
    3. Data Protection Authority:
      1. Data Protection Authority’s independence and powers under the Bill [read]
      2. The Data Protection Authority’s capacity and composition, and recommendations on how the regulator should work [read]
    4. Data localisation:
      1. Issues with classification of data in the Bill [read]
      2. Issues with data localisation norms in the Bill [read]
    5. Non Personal Data:
      1. Is defining non-personal data possible? Is anonymising it a good idea? [read]
      2. Considering intellectual property rights over non-personal data [read]
      3. Why does the Indian government want to regulate non-personal data? [read]
      4. Data trusts and non personal data [read]
      5. Report [download]
  6. Additional commentary on the PDP Bill, 2019:
    1. Dvara Research comments on the PDP Bill, 2019 [read]
    2. Internet Freedom Foundation brief on the PDP Bill, 2019 [read]
    3. Mozilla’s statement on the Bill: “India’s new data protection bill: Strong on companies, step backward on government surveillance” [read]
    4. New data bill gives sweeping powers to govt by Vrinda Bhandari [read]
    5. Personal Data Protection Bill strikes a discordant note on ‘non-personal data’ by Divij Joshi [read]
    6. Power over privacy: New Personal Data Protection Bill fails to really protect the citizen’s right to privacy by Nikhil Pahwa [read]
  7. Next steps:
    1. Compliance checklist from Ikigai law [action items] [compliance checklist]
    2. Implementing the Personal Data Protection Bill by Dvara Research [download]
  8. Data Protection Consultations:
    1. Notes from the consultation in Delhi [read]
    2. Notes from the consultation in Mumbai [read]
  9. Submissions on the PDP Bill:
    1. Made to MEITY on the PDP Bill, 2018 [read]
    2. Made to Srikrishna Committee [read]

We will keep updating this article with more resources and developments.

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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