Connect with us

Headlines of the Day

DPDP does not affect RTI Act, IT Minister

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (DPDP), which has been passed by both the Houses of Parliament and will soon become law, does not dilute the Right to Information (RTI) Act in any manner, said communications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.

In an interview with FE, the minister said the Bill covers technologies related to Artificial Intelligence and emerging challenges related to them will be incorporated as and when required now that a framework has been laid down.

Describing the Bill as a “great journey”, the minister said he is sure industry will soon develop new structures to store and handle data, which will revolutionise the entire system.

Vaishnaw said that for public servants, ministers, members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies, laws mandating disclosure of certain categories of information will continue to be in force. This means that government servants will need to disclose their assets and MPs, MLAs and ministers will also continue to do so as required under the Representation of People’s Act.

“We have strictly gone by the Puttaswamy judgment related to right to privacy, which said personal data can be processed if it passes the test of legality, legitimacy, and proportionality,” Vaishnaw said. “A public servant will continue to disclose information under RTI if the information sought passes these tests. Information pertaining to date of birth, assets held, passes such tests.”

However, the minister said, personal data relating to choice of food or dress, for instance, does not fall under this category. He emphasised that wherever there is a law mandating disclosure of information in public, it will prevail.

On AI technologies, the minister said digging into personal databases using such tools is illegal under the Bill and will attract penalties. “However, AI is an emerging technology. Therefore if any new challenges emerge, they will accordingly be addressed in the course of time,” Vaishnaw said.

The minister also clarified that there is no clash between the Bill and provisions either earlier mandated by any sectoral regulator or prescribed by regulators concerned in the days to come. “If any sectoral regulator has put in place provisions for storing user data within the country, it will continue to apply. Similarly, sectoral regulators are free to examine the case in their respective sectors and come up with different provisions,” Vaishnaw said.

“This Bill puts in place a horizontal law which applies to all sectors. However, it is not possible to write laws for every sector and predict the future. So, the Bill has laid down the fundamental principle that wherever personal data is involved, consent and safeguards shall apply. It has laid down the framework,” he said.

Dismissing apprehensions of legal wrangling over personal data that has leaked in the past resurfacing, Vaishnaw said technological tools and forensic science are quite developed to tackle such issues.

He said the transition to the new system will be as early as possible as industry has said it is prepared. “Our first priority is to put in place the Data Protection Board, and make rules related to the new law. Once these are in place, transition time will be given to industry. But they have said they are prepared so it will happen at the earliest,” the minister said.

Laptops will repeat the success of iPhones
Domestic manufacturing of laptops will be as successful as local production of Apple’s iPhones, Vaishnaw said. He said the licensing norms relating to import of laptops, tablets, personal computers and servers, which will kick in from November 1, will be flexible and won’t burden the industry in any manner.

“We have met industry players and they are on board with the new scheme. Applying for licences will be an online process and there will be no quotas or restrictions. I am sure the IT hardware production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme will be as successful as the smartphone PLI,” the minister said. He said 44 companies have already registered for domestic manufacturing and more will join. Financial Express

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2024 Communications Today

error: Content is protected !!