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Know India’s New Data Protection Framework!

Data-ProtectionsThe issue of data protection is important both intrinsically and instrumentally. Intrinsically, a regime for data protection is synonymous with protection of informational privacy.

As the Supreme Court observed in Puttaswamy, “Informational privacy is a facet of the right to privacy. The dangers to privacy in an age of information can originate not only from the state but from non-state actors as well. We commend to the Union Government the need to examine and put into place a robust regime for data protection. The creation of such a regime requires a careful and sensitive balance between individual interests and legitimate concerns of the state.”

The Government of India has set up a Committee of Experts to study various issues relating to data protection in India, make specific suggestions on principles underlying a data protection bill and draft such a bill. The objective is to “ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected.”

The issue of data protection is important both intrinsically and instrumentally. Intrinsically, a regime for data protection is synonymous with protection of informational privacy.

As the Supreme Court observed in Puttaswamy, “Informational privacy is a facet of the right to privacy. The dangers to privacy in an age of information can originate not only from the state but from non-state actors as well.

The creation of such a regime requires a careful and sensitive balance between individual interests and legitimate concerns of the state.” Instrumentally, a firm legal framework for data protection is the foundation on which data-driven innovation and entrepreneurship can flourish in India. Fostering such innovation and entrepreneurship is essential if India is to lead its citizens and the world into a digital future committed to empowerment, experiment and equal access, writes the mygov.in website.

A carefully formulated data protection law is necessary for fulfilling both these objectives. Committee view that the law drafted must be cognisant of international and comparative practices. Doing otherwise in our increasingly interconnected world would be naïve.

At the same time, the law must be acutely aware of the views of Indians, particularly the common man and woman, perhaps new to data but with clear views on right and wrong, benefit and harm. To serve these two purposes, the Indian Govt. has drafted a White Paper to solicit public comments on what shape a data protection law must take.

The White Paper outlines the issues that a majority of the members of the Committee feel require incorporation in a law, relevant experiences from other countries and concerns regarding their incorporation, certain provisional views based on an evaluation of the issues vis-à-vis the objectives of the exercise, and specific questions for the public.
The Union Government is also welcoming responses and will conduct public consultations with citizens and stakeholders shortly to hear all voices that wish and need to be heard on this subject.

The Full Whitepaper on the Data Protection Framework Can Be Found Here: Click here

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Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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