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Key Aspects: National Digital Health Mission’s Data Management Policy

Update on September 1, 10:50 IST: The government on Monday evening extended the deadline for public comments by a week to September 10. The government has released and opened public consultations for a data management policy to govern the National Digital Health Ecosystem, which is being driven by the National Health Authority. The draft policy adopts the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, as a mainframe, and was released on Tuesday evening. Public consultation is open just for a week, until September 3, 2020. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, was first made public in December, and is now being deliberated over by a parliamentary committee formed specifically for this purpose. The bill’s passage will follow due legislative process, which has already been delayed by the pandemic. The policy is essentially personal data protection framework for health data, and is clearly drafted to be in harmony with the personal data protection law, whenever it comes in force. The policy will apply to everyone in the National Digital Health Mission ecosystem, such as people who have been issued Health IDs, healthcare professionals, governing bodies such as Health Ministry and National Heath Authority, any healthcare provider that collects health data, payers, pharma stakeholders, and anybody who collects or processes personal or sensitive personal data. Key definitions under the policy Most definitions under the policy are identical to that in the PDP Bill, including that of processing, data principal, data fiduciary, child, data, data processor, de-identification, harms, and so on. However, it details out…

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