Even as preparation of the personal data protection bill is being “fast-tracked”, the government may miss introducing it in the winter session of Parliament as it intends to have a wider consultation on the draft bill. Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said Friday that all efforts were being made to fast-track the process but the subject required “in-depth consultations and feedback”.
“This being a milestone legislation, widest consultation is always desirable. One (phase of consultation) was done under Justice BN Srikrishna, next we put it up online for feedback…Then there will be inter-ministerial consultation,” Prasad told reporters here after releasing Yojana Magazine’s special issue on Digital India.
Government officials had, on earlier occasions, expressed hope for introducing the bill in the Parliament in the winter session, which will commence from December 11.
In July, the committee headed by Justice Srikrishna submitted its recommendations to the government on personal data protection along with a draft bill on which the ministry sought public comments. The draft bill proposes seeking “explicit consent” for processing ‘sensitive personal information’ like religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation and biometric details.
It also suggests steps for safeguarding personal information, defines obligations of data processors as also rights of individuals, and proposes penalties for violation.
The areas covered include consent, what comprises personal data including sensitive personal data, exemptions which can be granted, grounds for processing data, storage restrictions for personal data, individual rights and right to be forgotten.
The draft of Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 also imposes conditions on the cross-border transfer of personal data, and suggests setting up of Data Protection Authority of India to oversee the implementation of the law and prevent any misuse of personal information.
After unveiling the latest edition of Yojana Magazine, Prasad urged to the senior officials of the Ministry & Information Broadcasting to prepare an issue focusing on data security and protection-related subjects.
He said that initiatives taken under the Digital India programme have transcended beyond political barriers and that no state government has opposed any initiative under the programme. He added that digital medium must be safe and secure to ensure equitable spread of its benefits.