Indian government withdraws Personal Data Protection Bill 2019

Indian government withdraws Personal Data Protection Bill 2019

The Indian government has rolled back the controversial Personal Data Protection Bill introduced on December 11, 2019. The data protection and privacy bill designed to protect the citizens raised concerns among technology companies such as Google and Facebook.

The bill proposed strict rules on cross-border data flows and allowed the government to seek user data from tech companies.

However, the government said it would draft a new bill from scratch, which will adhere to global standards.

“The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was deliberated in great detail by the Joint Committee of Parliament, 81 amendments (in a bill of 99 sections) were proposed, and 12 recommendations were made towards a comprehensive legal framework on the digital ecosystem. Considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon. Hence, in the circumstances, it is proposed to withdraw The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 and present a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework,” the government said.

The existing bill was criticized and required tech companies to increase their compliance burden and data storage. It even raised concerns over data misuse, which has risen rapidly over the years.

The government’s step to retract the bill now leaves India with no privacy law.

“India still has no privacy law in sight. That’s leaving data regulation open to a wide variety of sectoral regulations, something a common privacy law could have harmonized,” Prasanto Roy, a New Delhi-based consultant, said.


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