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3 Reasons Why the JPC Report on Data Protection Should Worry Us All

Privacy & digital rights expert Apar Gupta explains main concerns about report and draft data protection bill.

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Video Editor: Rajbir Singh, Sandeep Suman

Video Producer: Aparna Singh


On Thursday, 16 December, a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) finally tabled its report on the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 in both Houses of Parliament, which means that India might finally get its long-overdue data protection law in the ongoing winter session.

Although there is an urgent need for such a law to protect our data, especially in the digital age we live in, the government's draft data protection bill has been seen as controversial since it was introduced in 2019, making several changes from the draft legislation suggested by the Justice Srikrishna-headed expert committee on data protection.

The JPC's recommendations and suggestions have also come in for criticism, for failing to address the key concerns about the 2019 draft bill, such as the far-reaching exemptions for the government.

Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation, explains the three major concerns about the data protection law that India looks set to get following the JPC report:

  1. The objective of facilitating the digital economy, rather than maintaining a focus on privacy and protection of data.

  2. The broad 'state use' exemptions from regulation and consent.

  3. The weakening of the Data Protection Authority, the body that is supposed to be the key regulator and enforcer of the law.

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