The Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 3, 2023, marking the Indian Government’s second attempt to establish comprehensive privacy legislation. This article explores the key provisions of the DPDP Bill and its implications on personal data protection in India.
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Overview of the DPDP Bill:
The DPDP Bill’s primary objective is to regulate the processing of personal data while emphasizing an individual’s right to protect their data. This legislation applies to personal data collected within India, whether in digital or converted form, and extends to the processing of digital personal data outside India when related to providing goods or services within the country. Notably, it excludes publicly available data, data used for personal or domestic purposes, and data made available due to legal obligations.
Rights and Duties Defined:
The DPDP Bill delineates the rights and responsibilities of Digital Nagriks (citizens) and data fiduciaries. It establishes a framework for lawful data processing, data protection, transparency, and accountability in data handling.
Key Principles of the DPDP Bill:
The DPDP Bill is founded on six fundamental principles:
a. Lawful Collection and Usage: Personal data collection and usage must adhere to legal standards, prioritize data protection, and maintain transparency.
b. Purpose-Driven Data Collection: Data should only be collected for lawful purposes and securely stored until those purposes are fulfilled.
c. Data Minimization: Data fiduciaries are obligated to collect only relevant data for predefined purposes.
d. Data Protection and Accountability: Data fiduciaries are responsible for safeguarding data, reporting breaches transparently, and being accountable for data handling.
e. Data Accuracy: Accuracy of collected data is emphasized to ensure its reliability and usefulness.
f. Reporting Data Breaches: In the event of a data breach, it must be reported fairly, transparently, and equitably to the Data Protection Boards.
Exemptions and Legitimate Uses:
The DPDP Bill identifies certain scenarios where consent for data processing is not required. These include voluntary data provision, state functions, court orders, medical emergencies, epidemics, disasters, employment purposes, and other specified situations.
Data Fiduciaries’ Responsibilities:
Data fiduciaries are responsible for preventing and promptly notifying data breaches. They must erase data when the purpose is fulfilled or consent is withdrawn. Additionally, they are required to maintain data accuracy and appoint a Data Protection Officer or contact person for user inquiries.
Applicability and Scope:
The DPDP Bill not only defines personal data but also outlines its broad applicability. It introduces a new Data Protection Board tasked with monitoring compliance and imposing penalties for non-compliance.
Balancing Powers and Limitations:
While the DPDP Bill empowers individuals with increased control over their personal data, it also acknowledges specific limitations to ensure a balanced approach to data protection.
In summary, the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill 2023 in India is a significant legislative effort aimed at safeguarding personal data and promoting responsible data handling by Data Fiduciaries. Its comprehensive provisions establish a framework for data protection and privacy in the digital age while addressing various legitimate use cases. The DPDP Bill holds the promise of enhancing data privacy and security for Indian citizens while facilitating responsible data-driven practices.