Panel to seek public opinion on data law
Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi, who heads the panel that met for the first time on Thursday, said advertisements seeking comments on the bill will be issued next week.Updated: Jan 17, 2020 00:51 IST
The joint parliamentary panel that the Personal Data Protection Bill was referred to last month is going to seek public opinion on the proposed law that seeks to regulate how individuals and organisations handle digital data of Indian citizens. It has also sought a definition of privacy from the Centre.
Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi, who heads the panel that met for the first time on Thursday, said advertisements seeking comments on the bill will be issued next week. “We are authoring an advertisement, with a dedicated email, so that people can write to us and let us know if there are any infirmities the bill suffers from.”
Another panel member, who did not wish to be named, said the window for public comments will be three weeks, after which they will meet again sometime in February.
During the meeting on Thursday, some Opposition members asked the government if privacy has been defined. “To this, the government did not have an answer. They will come back with a reply next meeting,” said the member.
An Opposition lawmaker said that since there was no structured discussion on the legislation, the Information Technology ministry gave a power point presentation on the bill during the in-camera proceedings.
The panel members wanted the officials to highlight the recommendations of the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee report on the data protection, which was submitted in July 2018, a year after it was constituted.
The Opposition lawmaker said the Centre will have to come with a presentation on the recommendations of the report, specifying the ones that the government has not incorporated in the bill. The members have also asked the government to explain the reason why the particular recommendations were not part of the bill.
The 10-member Srikrishna committee was formed to help the Centre come with a data protection legislation. In its recommendations, the committee said that any data processed in India will be governed by Indian law, and personal data should be processed for “clear, specific and lawful” purposes only.