Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 Introduced in Lok Sabha

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The government on Thursday tabled the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill in Lok Sabha amid demands by opposition members that it be referred to a parliamentary panel for scrutiny. While moving the bill, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw rejected suggestions that it was a money bill. He said it was a “normal bill”.

Various opposition members opposed the bill at the introduction stage, questioning the measure.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and his party colleagues Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor said the issue of Right to Privacy was involved and the government should not rush with the bill. 

The Centre had previously introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 in Parliament. The Bill was sent for consideration to the Joint Committee of Parliament. The Joint Committee, after consultations, submitted a report to the Speaker.

In view of the feedback by stakeholders and various agencies, the Bill was withdrawn in August 2022. On November 18, 2022, the government published a new draft Bill, titled the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022, and initiated a public consultation on this draft.

A comprehensive and detailed consultation was held on this subject. 21,666 comments were received from the public and a series of consultations were held with 46 sector organisations, associations and industry bodies.

Comments were also received from 38 ministries/departments of the Government of India. The reintroduced draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022 proposed six types of penalties on non-companies to companies.

To prevent a personal data breach, a penalty of up to Rs. 250 crore is being proposed in the draft bill which was put out for public comments. Besides, failure to notify the Board and affected Data Principals in the event of a personal data breach and non-fulfilment of additional obligations in relation to Children may attract a penalty of up to Rs. 200 crore.

Non-fulfilment of additional obligations of Significant Data Fiduciary under sections 11 and 16 of the Act may attract Rs. 150 crore and Rs. 10 crore fines, respectively.


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