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Current Affairs


Date : Dec 20, 2021

Description :

Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’ on 17th December 2021 on Page Number 6


Useful for UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains (GS Paper II)



Original Article published in ‘The Hindu’:


Data Protection (Meaning):


  • Data protection is the process of preventing important data from being tampered with, compromised, or lost.
  • Data refers to a huge amount of information saved in a computer or across a network.
  • As the amount of data collected and stored continues to expand at unprecedented rates, data protection becomes increasingly important.




  • According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India's (IAMAI) Digital in India report 2019, India has around 504 million active web users, making it the world's second-largest internet market behind China.
  • Individuals' online behaviours and large collections of information about them have become a lucrative source of revenue. It can also be a source of privacy infringement because it might reveal incredibly intimate information.
  • It is valuable to businesses, governments, and political parties because it allows them to find the most persuasive ways to advertise to you online.


Data Protection Laws Around the World:


  • The General Data Protection Regulation's (GDPR) main goal is to provide individuals control over their personal data.
  • The US has sectoral legislation dealing with digital privacy, such as the US Privacy Act of 1974, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and so on.




India's Initiatives:


  • The Information Technology Act of 2000 establishes safeguards against some data breaches from computer systems. It includes safeguards to prevent unwanted access to computers, computer systems, and data stored on them.
  • Bill to Protect Personal Data in 2019:
  • In the momentous decision of K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right, prompting the Union government to form the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee to draught new data protection laws.
  • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, is the result of the Committee's report and proposed legislation.
  • In 2019, Parliament updated the Bill again, with significant differences from the 2018 version. Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is the name of the new bill.
  • The goal of this bill is to provide for the protection of individuals' privacy in relation to their personal data, as well as to establish a Data Protection Authority of India for these purposes and matters relating to an individual's personal data.


Concerns about the 2019 Personal Data Protection Bill:


  • It's like wielding a two-edged blade. While it protects Indians' personal data by giving them data primary rights, it also grants the central government exemptions that are contrary to the principles of processing personal data.
  • When necessary, the government can process even sensitive personal data without the data principals' explicit agreement.





Next Steps:


  • Data is a precious resource in the digital era that should not be left unregulated. In this scenario, India's time for a strong data protection regime has arrived.
  • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, has to be amended as soon as possible. It has to be rewritten to ensure that it emphasises user privacy while focusing on user rights. To enforce these rights, a privacy commission would need to be established.
  • The government would also have to protect citizens' privacy while bolstering their access to information. Furthermore, technical advancements in the recent two to three years must be addressed, since they have the potential to render the law obsolete.


Tags : The Information Technology Act of 2000

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