What is the Data Protection Bill and why did the government have to withdraw it?

Government withdrew Data Protection Bill in Lok Sabha.

The Data Protection Bill, 2021, brought to prevent the use and illegal spread of personal data of people, has been withdrawn by the government in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The bill was referred to a joint committee of both the houses after opposition from the opposition. The committee presented its report in the Lok Sabha in December 2021. After that it has been withdrawn.
Let us know what this bill is and why it had to be withdrawn.

What is Data Protection Bill?

The Data Protection Bill was introduced in the House on December 11, 2019 by the Ministry of Information Technology.

The purpose of this bill was to protect the use and flow of personal data of an individual and to build trust between the company using the personal data.
This bill was prepared keeping in mind the protection of the rights of the user while his data is being used.

What was the plan made in the Data Protection Bill?

The bill seeks to create a framework for institutional and technical precautions during the use of personal data, rules for social media representative, cross-border transfers, accountability of entities handling personal data, and the use of data for wrongful and harmful use. Appropriate steps were planned to be taken to prevent it.

Apart from this, the Bill defines personal data as personal or related information.

What were the provisions made in the bill?

The Bill deals with any personal data originating from India, used by the government or its agency, Indian company, citizen or any person or group created or incorporated under Indian law.

In this, the owner of the data is called the ‘Data Principles’ and the organization that collects the data is called the ‘Data Fiduciary’.
Similarly, the organization that processes personal data on behalf of the data fiduciary is called a ‘data processor’.

What was the compulsion on the use of data in the bill?

The bill mandated the processing of data on the entity using personal data only in accordance with the law and maintaining transparency and accountability. Similarly, the data collector had the responsibility to devise appropriate security measures.

There was a provision of heavy fine in the bill

The bill also made a provision for heavy fines for violating its provisions. Under this, a fine of Rs 15 crore or four per cent of the company’s global turnover (whichever is higher) was to be imposed for breaking the law.

However, the bill also made a provision to give broad exemptions to the government and all government and private agencies associated with it.
Due to this, the MPs of the opposition raised questions on the bill.

The opposition had opposed the bill

The bill was opposed by most of the opposition MPs including Congress MPs Jairam Ramesh and Manish Tewari.

He said that the exemption given to the government and its institutions is a violation of the fundamental right to privacy.
Similarly, its articles 12 (A) and 35 were also opposed.
Article 35 exempted the government and its agencies for the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign countries.

The bill was sent to a joint committee for review.

After opposition from the opposition, the bill was sent to a joint committee of both the houses for review.

Along with this, the central government had also sent its reply to address the questions raised on the bill.
The committee, after reviewing the Bill and the government’s responses, presented its report in the Lok Sabha on December 16, 2021.
After that a fresh debate was started on this bill again.

Why did the government withdraw the bill?

Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnav moved a motion to withdraw the bill on Wednesday, which was approved by the House by voice vote.

Union Minister Rajiv Chandrashekhar tweeted the government notice and wrote, ‘Decision is being taken to withdraw the bill, as the review of the parliamentary panel has suggested 81 amendments. Therefore, a new comprehensive legal framework is needed in this. The government will now introduce a new bill in this regard.

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