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 government access to data, read Part II here. “The Puttaswamy judgement and the discourse around data protection in India arose in the context of Aadhaar, where the State was seen as the chief privacy violator. The Personal Data Protection Bill was an opportunity to correct that, but the State wants to exempt itself from all the obligations instead,” a speaker said. Sections 35 and Section 36 emerged as the crux of issues of the Bill as they grant government agencies too much power with respect…
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