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A Complete Guide to India’s Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023

A guide to our coverage of the latest Bill—summaries, comparisons with previous iterations of the Bill, analysis, opinions, stakeholders’ feedback, etc

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Last updated on August 18, 2023

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on August 3, 2023, introduced the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill, 2023 [PDF copy], the fifth iteration of India’s data protection bill in the parliament.

A data protection law has been in the works since 2017, when the Supreme Court, in the landmark Puttaswamy judgement, ruled that privacy is a fundamental right of Indian citizens, putting the government under the obligation to pass legislation to protect this right.

The DPDP Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha (lower house) on August 7 and by the Rajya Sabha (upper house) on August 9. It received the President of India’s assent on August 11 and was enacted as the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act, 2023. Different entities will have different timelines to comply with the Act, which are yet to be notified by the government.

We will be updating this post with a guide to our coverage of the latest Bill—summaries, comparisons with previous iterations of the Bill, analysis, opinions, stakeholders’ feedback, etc. You can also find our complete coverage of the Bill under the tags Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 or Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023.

Guide to the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023

  1. Summary of the 2023 Bill [read]
  2. Initial comments by opposition MPs [read]
  3. Bill Texts and Guides:
    1. Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 [PDF]
    2. Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 [PDF] [Guide] [explanatory note] [notice]
    3. Data Protection Bill, 2021 (along with Joint Parliamentary Committee Report) [PDF] [Guide]
    4. Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 [PDF] [Guide]
    5. Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 [PDF]
  4. Section-wise summaries, analysis, and comparisons with previous iterations:
    1. Obligations of data fiduciaries [part 1 on obligations: read] [part 2 on legitimate uses: read]
    2. Rights and duties of individuals [read]
    3. Transferring personal data outside of India [read]
    4. Protections for children’s data [read]
    5. Government powers to exempt itself, issue rules, block content, etc. [read]
    6. Data Protection Board of India [read]
    7. Data breaches [read]
    8. Impact on Right to Information [read]
    9. Impact on AI companies [read]
  5. Fifteen Major Concerns with the Data Protection Bill [read]
  6. Stakeholders’ views of the Bill 
    1. Editors Guild of India [read]
    2. Internet Freedom Foundation [read]
    3. DIGIPUB News India Foundation [read]
    4. Remove RTI Amendment From The Data Protection Bill: Ex-Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi [read]
    5. What stakeholders think about the provisions for children’s data safety in the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 [read]
  7. Deep Dives
    1. Do The Blocking Powers In The Latest Data Protection Bill Restrict Speech, Or Non-Compliant Cos From Operating In India? [read]
    1. Straw Man Fallacy: IT Ministers’ Defence Of Government Exemptions In Data Protection Law Misses The Point [read]
    2. Response To Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s Comments On The Data Protection Act [read]
  9. Explainer by Minister of State on IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar [watch]
  10. Debate and passing of the Bill in Lok Sabha [read]
  11. Debate and passing of the Bill In Rajya Sabha [read]
  12. Proposed amendments that were rejected [read]
  13. MediaNama Event Coverage [TBA]

Timeline of key events

  • July 2018: After a year of consultations and deliberations, the PDP Bill, 2018, drafted by an expert committee headed by Justice BN Srikrishna, is presented to MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology). Subsequently, MeitY begins drafting the next iteration of the Bill.
  • December 2019: The PDP Bill, 2019, prepared by MeitY, is referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for review and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi is appointed chairperson.
  • December 2021: After multiple extensions, and a leadership change, JPC Chairperson PP Chaudhary tabled the report of the JPC on the PDP Bill, 2019, as well as the draft Data Protection Bill 2021, in the parliament.
  • August 2022: On August 3, MeitY withdrew the Data Protection Bill 2021 from the parliament, stating that a more “comprehensive legal framework” will be presented soon.
  • November 2022: MeitY on November 18 released the DPDP Bill, 2022 for public feedback.
  • August 2023: MeitY on August 3, 2023, tabled the DPDP Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 7 and by the Rajya Sabha on August 9. The Bill received the assent from the President of India on August 11.

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