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Modi government seeks public comments on draft data protection Bill by Sept 10

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The government has sought public feedback on draft data protection bill which proposes seeking “explicit consent” for processing ‘sensitive personal information’ like religious or political belief, sexual orientation and biometric information. A high-level panel headed by Justice B N Srikrishna submitted its recommendations and the draft bill on data protection to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad a fortnight ago. It suggested steps for safeguarding personal information, defining obligations of data processors as also rights of individuals, and mooting penalties for violation.

“MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) solicits comments of general public on the report and Draft Personal Data Protection Bill by 10th September, 2018,” an official statement said. The areas covered by the recommendations include consent, what comprises personal data including sensitive personal data, exemptions which can be granted, grounds for processing data, storage restrictions for personal data, individual rights and right to be forgotten.

The draft of Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 restricts and imposes conditions on the cross-border transfer of personal data, and suggests setting up of Data Protection Authority of India to prevent any misuse of personal information. It provides for a penalty of Rs 15 crore or 4 per cent of the total worldwide turnover of any data collection entity, including the state, for violation of personal data processing provisions.

Failure to take prompt action on a data security breach can attract up to Rs 5 crore or 2 per cent of turnover, whichever is higher, as a penalty. “The Bill provides that right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is necessary to protect personal data as an essential facet of informational privacy,” the draft had said.

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