Data Protection Law Still in Works: IT Minister

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Data Protection

IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted recently that the Select Committee of the Parliament is still working on the Data Protection Law. The law will seek to safeguard the personal information of the users and will also guide and oblige the data collectors/processors to meet with a penalty if they violate any of the policies.

The use of personal data of the users is how many social media applications make their fortunes from. Until now, there were no rules or policies regarding safeguarding the data of the customers. But once the committee of parliament finalises its report on the data protection law, the government will ensure that all of the personal data of the Indian users is safe and stored within specific guidelines.

Areas Covered by the Data Protection Law

As per a PTI report, the data protection law will cover the following areas — consent of the user in offering the data to the company/organisation, what data can the app/website take from the user, policies for processing the data, individual rights, exemptions that can be granted, and more.

The government had to come up with a new data protection law after WhatsApp introduced a new privacy policy in January this year. The new privacy policy of the social media application aimed at collecting the personal data of the users and then sharing it with Facebook.

Since there was no data protection law, both the government and the courts didn’t have any direction with the matter. WhatsApp couldn’t enforce the privacy policy on its users living in Europe because of an existing policy safeguarding the data of the users. Since India didn’t have a policy regarding the same, WhatsApp could enforce the privacy policy looking to collect data of the Indians.

The new data protection law is the need of the hour since many companies, not just WhatsApp will look to collect data of the users. Generally, free platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and more rely on the personal data they have and a few other things to be able to generate revenues by selling that data to the advertisers.

Once the data protection law comes into effect, WhatsApp might be forced to withdraw its mandatory privacy policy. There’s no clear timeline on when the government will come out with the data protection law.

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