The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, was introduced in Parliament in December 2019, and was referred to a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee for review. The Bill is the first legislation that focusses on privacy of citizens, and could potentially result in significant overhaul of digital businesses and companies. The Committee is expected to submit its report to the Parliament before the Budget Session concludes on April 3, 2020. Earlier this month, MediaNama held discussions in Delhi and Bangalore on the main aspects and impact of the Bill with a wide set of stakeholders. The discussions were held with support from Facebook, Google, and STAR India in Delhi, and with support from Facebook and Google in Bangalore. The discussions were held under Chatham House Rule, so quotes have not been attributed. Quotes are not verbatim and have been edited for clarity and brevity. Read our full coverage of the discussions here: #NAMA India’s Data Protection Law – January 2020. The following is Part I of our notes from the session on data protection authority. Read Part II here. DPA's independence: why, how much, and what now? The DPA’s independence is crucial given that its core functioning includes regulating government bodies, not just private entities, pointed out a speaker. In fact, what’s unique about the DPA is the degree to which it will have to contend with the State as an antagonist, said another speaker. This is not the case with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) or with the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board (IBB), s/he added.…
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