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Facebook to depose before Committee on Data Protection Bill on Aug 10

Facebook is scheduled to depose before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill during the Committee’s next meeting on August 10, as per the Lok Sabha website. The social media giant will be accompanied by representatives from the law firm Luthra & Luthra, industry body ASSOCHAM, and Delhi-based Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre. We had earlier reported that the meeting would take place on August 10.


Screenshot from the Lok Sabha website.

During the previous meeting on July 27, the Committee focussed on on Sections 35 and 36 of the Bill, which that allow the central government to exempt any government agency from any or all provisions of the Bill. In addition to submission of oral evidence by the National Investigation Agency, the National Crime Record Bureau, and Narcotics Control Bureau, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner Vivek Joshi, though not listed in the schedule, made an oral presentation.

Both the NCRB and the Census Commissioner said that exemptions under Sections 35 and 36 are necessary. The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, under the Home Ministry, is responsible for carrying out the census, and for acting as the “National Registration Authority” for the controversial National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) and National Population Register (NPR). The Commissioner argued for exemptions for the creation of NPR and NRIC.

The impact of the Schrems II judgement was also brought up but not explored in detail.

***Update (3:29 pm): Updated with details about the Kalam Centre and link to its website. Originally published on August 4, 2020 at 12:38 pm.

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