The Editors Guild of India Tuesday welcomed the country’s first proposed data protection law, noting that it has put data gathered for ‘journalistic purposes’ in the exempt list. Endorsing the Srikrishna Committee’s suggestion that the Press Council of India and other media watchdogs should incorporate provisions for data privacy in their code of ethics, the journalist body said in a statement, “By placing data gathered for ‘journalistic purposes’ in the exempt list under the proposed law, the committee, headed by Justice B N Srikrishna, has also allowed journalists to collect, review and preserve personal data for use in news reports without seeking the consent of individuals.
“However, the Srikrishna draft says journalists will have to adhere to the code of ethics prescribed by the Press Council of India or ‘any media self-regulatory organisation,” it said in a statement.
The Guild’s Code of Ethics will also be amended soon for greater clarity so it does not lead to an undue violation of the data protection rights of individuals, the statement said.
Judge B N Srikrishna report said that Journalists will not be obliged to share the reason behind collecting personal data with individuals. “It would be impractical to expect a journalist to specify in exact terms the purposes the personal data is being collected for.”
According to the proposed law, the purpose of processing or collecting personal data must be specified by both government and private agencies or individuals.