The Lok Sabha on Monday cleared the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill by a voice vote amid slogan shouting by opposition members over the Manipur issue.
Some amendments moved by opposition members seeking changes in the bill were defeated by a voice vote.
The bill seeks to protect the privacy of Indian citizens while proposing a penalty of up to Rs. 250 crore on entities for misusing or failing to protect the digital data of individuals.
The bill which comes after six years of the Supreme Court declaring “Right to Privacy” as a fundamental right has provisions to curb the misuse of individuals’ data by online platforms.
Moving the bill for consideration and passage, Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, “It would have been good had the opposition discussed the bill today (in the House). But no opposition leader or member is concerned over the right of the citizens.” He said the bill has been brought after extensive public consultation.
Referring to the salient features of the bill, the minister said its language is very simple so that even a common person can understand it.
Referring to certain principles on which the bill is based, Vaishnaw said that according to the principle of legality, data of a person has to be taken based on prevailing laws.
He also said as per the principle of purpose limitation, data should be used for the purpose it was taken for.
Why should more data be taken than required, the minister told members referring to the principle of data minimisation.
He also noted that there has to be a storage limitation as far as the data of individuals is concerned. “Data should not be kept beyond it needs to be stored,” the Union minister said.
Notice and consent will be provided in all the 22 languages mentioned in the 8th Schedule so that it becomes easier for the people to comprehend.
Referring to the alternative dispute resolution mechanism put in place, he explained that if an organisation commits a mistake, it will go to the data protection board, rectifies mistake and pays penalty “and move ahead”.
Responding to suggestions by members that the Right to Information (RTI) provisions have been diluted in the bill, he said RTI and personal data protection have been harmonised.
The bill was later passed after a brief debate.