UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 24 January 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the impact of the Personal Data Protection Bill on business.

Syllabus: GS-II Government policies and issues arising out of it.

Personal Data Protection Bill

  • The genesis of this Bill lies in the report prepared by a Committee of Experts headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna.
  • The committee was constituted by the government in the course of hearings before the Supreme Court in the right to privacy case (Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India).

Concerns with the bill, specific to business:

  • Bill imposes regulatory burden on business without securing proportional gains in privacy protection.
    • Centralised Data Protection Authority with a wide discretionary remit to formulate regulation.
    • Broad-based restrictions on the transfer of data overseas; likely to splinter our market from the global digital economy.
    • Impose onerous compliance obligations that have little to do with data protection.
    • Inflexible framework that is bereft of any formal consultative rule-making process.
    • Out of sync with international data protection practices; could blunt India’s competitive advantage as a Digital market.
    • Joint Parliamentary Committee recommended all hardware must be monitored, tested, and certified by an authorised agency to ensure its integrity and trustworthiness.
      • This requirement is alien to global data protection standards, including EU’s GDPR
    • Extensive compliance requirements have been included- conduct of audits and impact assessments to be filed with the authority.
    • Compliance burden is likely to act as a potent deterrent to fulsome participation in the Indian market.
    • The outside world sees such provisions and JPC recommendations, contributing to less protection and more protectionism.

Way Ahead:

  • The government of India stated that technology and electronics manufacturing will be the foundation of the $5 trillion economy, and these sectors will grow to $300 billion by 2025.
  • Value generation through technology requires an open and innovation-friendly regulatory environment.

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