India Passes Digital Personal Data Protection Bill

August 9, 2023

India’s Digital Personal Data Protection Bill has passed both the upper and lower houses of Parliament and will soon be signed into law. The law establishes an individual’s right to correct or erase their personal data and sets obligations regarding data collection, processing, sharing, and transfer. This bill is the latest iteration of several attempts to pass a privacy law in India, including a 2019 proposal that was withdrawn after protests from big tech companies over its strict data transfer requirements.

However, the current law has faced sharp criticism from privacy advocates due to the raft of exceptions and powers granted to the government, which many say will lead to increased government surveillance. Under the law, the government may exempt state agencies and other bodies from having to comply with the law, allows the government to set up the data protection board that will hear complaints, and shields the government and data protection board from legal actions. It remains to be seen whether this law protects truly protects privacy or props the door open for government privacy abuses.

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