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Lok Sabha clears Digital Personal Data Protection Bill

Lok Sabha clears Digital Personal Data Protection Bill amid disruptions by opposition over Manipur issue.

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 aims to “provide for the processing of digital personal data in a manner that recognises both the right of individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process such personal data for lawful purposes,” the ministry of information technology said.

Companies and institutions can be penalised for non-compliance, and for failing to take reasonable measures to prevent data breaches. They will also be required to stop retaining user data if it no longer serves the business purpose for which it was collected.

No company or organisation will be allowed to process personal data that is likely to cause “any detrimental effect” on the well-being of a child.

The bill has relaxed penalty norms compared to the proposal made in the draft DPDP that was circulated for public consultation in November 2022.

“If the board determines on conclusion of an inquiry that breach of the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder by a person is significant, it may, after giving person an opportunity of being heard, impose such monetary penalty specified in the schedule,” the bill said.

Under the schedule, maximum of ₹250 crore and minimum ₹50 crore can be imposed on entity violating the norms.

“No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the central government, the board, its chairperson and any member, officer or employee thereof for anything which is done or intended to be done in good faith under the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder,” the bill said.

Provisions under the bill enable the Centre to block access to content in the interest of general public on getting reference in writing from the board.

Minister of State for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the bill after it is passed by Parliament, will protect rights of all citizens, allow innovation economy to expand and permit the government’s lawful and legitimate access in national security and emergencies like pandemics and earthquakes etc.

“It will take a lot of the concerns and lot of misuse and exploitation that is done by many of these (online) platforms. Puts a break on that once and for all. This is certainly a legislation that will create deep lasting behaviourial change and create high punitive consequences for any or all platforms that misuse or exploit personal data of any Indian citizen,” Chandrasekhar said. Livemint

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