Centre to withdraw contentious Personal Data Protection Bill, bring new one

The government on Wednesday said it will withdraw its much-awaited Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 that has seen 81 amendments in the past three years, and will now introduce a new bill.

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told members of the Joint Committee of the Parliament (JCP) that the fresh bill will fit into the comprehensive legal framework.

“The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was deliberated in great detail by the Joint Committee of Parliament. 81 amendments were proposed and 12 recommendations were made towards a comprehensive legal framework on the digital ecosystem,” Vaishnaw said in a statement.

“Considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon. Hence, in the circumstances, it is proposed to withdraw ‘The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019’ and present a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework,” he added.

The earlier bill drew intense scrutiny from privacy advocates, industry stakeholders and tech companies.

New Delhi-based privacy advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation had said the bill “provides large exemptions to government departments, prioritises the interests of big corporations, and does not adequately respect your fundamental right to privacy”.

The Bill was first brought in 2019 and was then referred to the Joint Committee.

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