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Indian Govt to Rework IT Act to Tackle Digital Challenges: Prasad 

The existing Act is more than 20 years old, and doesn’t cover aspects like cybersecurity and data protection.

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Tech News
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Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
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The Centre is planning to update the around 20-year-old Information Technology (IT) Act to widen its ambit to the changes in technology in the recent years.

Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said along the technology ecosystem, the challenges had also changed and increased in these years.

An experts committee could be set up for suggestions on updating the Act, he added.

Prasad, who also holds the communications portfolio, said the update would have major emphasis on cyber security and also take into account data privacy and protection.

"New technology has become very pronounced. The whole ecosystem of consumers has changed and so have the challenges," he said. It would also factor in large issues of the Supreme Court judgment on privacy and protection, he added.

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He said the number of customers had multiplied, and concerns of misuse of data cropped up with digital payments and transactions becoming common.

"The biggest challenge is the number of consumers you have to handle. Today, technology has become the centre of digital payment, digital delivery of services. It also raises the question of misuse. The vastness of these platforms was not even contemplated when the IT Act came into being," Prasad said.

The changes are imperative as the Act caters to issues that are dated, and with the country’s focus on digital-centric services, there are many aspects which are not covered. In addition to this Act, the Centre is also looking to pass the Data Protection Bill, which was tabled in the Parliament few months back.

But there are concerns ff this Bill becomes a law then the government can decide from time to time which investigating agencies will come under this law and which will be kept out of it.

That’s not all, when it comes to storing people’s personal data, the government is putting a check on private companies through this Bill but the government itself is unrestrained. This will set a bad precedent in the near future, especially if major cyber attacks are reported.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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