wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

JPC proposes regulatory authority for all media platforms, much like Press Council of India

The parliamentary committee also identified “key areas of concern” with social media intermediaries.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee’s report on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 has recommended the creation of a statutory authority for the regulation of content on all media platforms.

“[…]The committee recommends that a statutory media regulatory authority, on the lines of the press council of India, may be set up for the regulation of the contents on all such media platforms irrespective of where their content is published, whether online, print, or otherwise,” reads the report.

The JPC’s recommendation could lead to new liabilities and compliance requirements for social media platforms, streaming platforms, and news media organisations.

Here’s our complete guide to the Data Protection Bill, 2021

Possible reasons for the recommendation

The committee made the following observations about the functioning of social media platforms:

Functioning as publishers: Social media platforms can select the receiver and control access to any content on their platform, the JPC report said. It also noted that contrary to social media platforms, electronic and print media take responsibility for their content.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Ineffectiveness of IT Act, 2000: The legislation has failed to keep up with the changing social media ecosystem, the report said.

What prompted the committee’s review of social media platforms?

At the outset, the committee identified 13 “key areas of concern” with social media intermediaries. These are:

  • Transparency and accountability of social media platforms
  • Categorisation of such platforms as intermediaries
  • Profiling of personal data by such platforms
  • Instances of discriminatory use of AI by such platforms
  • Privacy policy of such platforms
  • Ongoing investigations of such platforms in countries other than India
  • Privacy and content policy of such social media intermediaries
  • Intermingling of social media platforms and other OTT platforms
  • Ability to influence large segment of population through the use of AI
  • Anonymous publication of content on such platforms
  • Obscene and other illegal content
  • Criteria adopted by social media platforms for removal of content
  • Code of Ethics for social media platforms

India’s IT Rules

The Information Technology (IT) Rules, 2021 are applicable to (i) internet and social media intermediaries (ii) digital news and (iii) OTT streaming services. The Rules have provisions related to proactive content moderation, transparency requirements, self-regulatory requirements, traceability mandate, government requests, and more. Here’s a brief look at what has gone on with the IT Rules so far:

  • May 2021: MeitY enacted the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
  • August 2021: The Bombay High Court stayed provisions that required digital news publishers to create a three-tier grievance mechanism and to observe a Code of Ethics.
  • September 2021: MeitY told the Madras High Court that 19 petitions had been filed challenging the IT Rules in various high courts. Later that month, the Madras HC stayed provisions that require social media platforms to take down content that violates norms (including a defamation clause that petitioners took specific issue with) and deprive intermediaries of protection from content posted by users in case of non-compliance.
  • November 2021: MeitY finally released a set of Frequently Asked Questions, in response to stakeholder demand for clarification on the rules. However, it still has various inconsistencies.

Get our white paper on the Data Protection Bill 2021 in your inbox

We may also reach out occasionally with our coverage of the Data Protection Bill and more.
By filling out this form, you agree to receive a copy of MediaNama's white paper and further information about MediaNama's work and services.

Also read:

Have something to add? Subscribe to MediaNama here and post your comment. 

Written By

I cover health technology for MediaNama, among other things. Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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



Looking at the definition of health data, it is difficult to verify whether health IDs are covered by the Bill.


The accession to the Convention brings many advantages, but it could complicate the Brazilian stance at the BRICS and UN levels.


In light of the state's emerging digital healthcare apparatus, how does Clause 12 alter the consent and purpose limitation model?


The collective implication of leaving out ‘proportionality’ from Clause 12 is to provide very wide discretionary powers to the state.


The latest draft is also problematic for companies or service providers that have nothing to with children's data.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ