The Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB), first proposed by the government in 2018, seeks to regulate the use of individuals’ personal data by the government and private organisations. However, stakeholders have scrutinised it in light of recent data breaches.

The PDPB has seen several changes to the initial proposal drafted by retired Supreme Court judge Justice B. N. Srikrishna and has been pending for nearly three years now.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), an ad hoc committee, was constituted in the Lok Sabha in 2019 to evaluate and amend the bill, which has been looking into the draft law ever since. It was supposed to present its report during the Budget session and has been given several deadline extensions, the latest being due to a change in several members, including the chairperson, following Lekhi’s induction as a minister. Despite their demands, the report was not circulated for final inputs by members at the time.

According to the report’s summary, the report proposes to treat social media platforms as publishers, making them liable for content posted by users, and to reinstate the condition of “just, fair, reasonable, and proportionate” in Section 35, which deals with government exemptions for accessing personal data.

It also claims that the Information Technology Act is inadequate to manage social media intermediaries and that “the Act has not been able to keep up with the changing nature of the social media ecosystem,” and that “the Act has not been able to govern social media platforms appropriately.”

By- Shubhangi Kumari Mishra

 (Writer Intern, WCSF) 

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