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House panel may expand scope of Personal Data Protection Bill to bring digitisation, localisation under its ambit: Report

The JPC panel, headed by senior Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi, will hold multiple meetings throughout the week to complete the revamp of the Bill.

November 25, 2020 / 03:15 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

The Joint Parliamentary Committee may significantly expand the scope of the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill to cover all aspects of data protection and not just personal data, in its report due before Parliament during the Winter Session.

JPC members are looking to “redefine” and “clear” the Bill to bring digitisation and localisation of data under its ambit, with personal data being only one part along with critical data, non-personal data and sensitive data as the other subheads, a source told Mint.

The source added that the Bill is likely to “undergo a complete transformation as the unanimous view of members is that its ambit needs to be expanded to data protection and cannot be just about personal data.”

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

“JPC is unanimous that the purpose of the Bill should be more clearly defined. Some feel the earlier Bill was a little vague and needed improvement,” the source added.

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The original draft bill was tabled in Parliament in December 2019 and clearly states “personal data” in its title. The JPC panel, headed by senior Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi, will hold multiple meetings throughout the week to complete their revamp of the Bill.

The source added that localisation of data is the “biggest concern” because most social media companies store data “beyond the boundaries of India", which makes it difficult to retrieve data in case of investigations.

Besides the legislative part, political consensus is being built and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Congress and Samajwadi Party are supporting the proposed shift.

“There have been recommendations about inviting more people before the panel, so it is possible that the committee would invite representatives of more companies that collect and store data," a second source said.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Nov 25, 2020 03:15 pm

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