MeitY extends last date for comments on Personal Data Protection Bill till January 2
New Delhi, Dec 17
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Saturday said it is extending the date for receiving comments on draft ‘Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022’, till January 2, 2023.
“In response to the requests received from several stakeholders, the Ministry has decided to extend the last date for receipt of comments till January 2, 2023,” it said in a statement.
The draft bill has been in spotlight for the entire year and after withdrawing the previous draft on August 3, MeitY on November 18 published a fresh draft on ‘Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022’, along with an explanatory note and sought feedback from public by Saturday (December 17).
The previous Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill was withdrawn from Lok Sabha and government at that point in time said it will come out with a set of fresh legislations that will fit into the comprehensive legal framework.
It maintained that for the purpose of comprehensiveness, the bill had to be withdrawn because it was critical for the fresh draft of the bill to be further deliberated in the light of the amendments proposed by the Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP).
While a data protection law is been under consideration for several years, the current Bill had alarmed big tech companies. Civil society groups had also criticised the open-ended exceptions given to the government in the Bill, allowing for surveillance.
According to some analysts, the new draft is an ‘ill crafted’ as it lacks the focus of being a strong personal data protection law. “All of the data principles built into the rules stand diluted in this draft,” NS Nappinai, Supreme Court Advocate and Founder – Cyber Saathi had said.
Another expert had said that despite saying that this has been made in simple language so that people could understand and keep it short, you still have to make sure that the Bill is comprehensive enough to protect the interests of citizens, which is not the case right now.
Also, another important change relates to the substitution of earlier suggested Data Protection Authority of India with Data Protection Board of India. The functions, and most importantly composition of the Board are to be determined by the government through delegated legislation. This may face constitutional challenge as it is arguably a case of excessive delegation, they said.