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Joint Committee submits report on Data Protection Bill in Parliament

Joint Committee submits report on Data Protection Bill in Parliament

New Delhi: The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) submitted its report on the Personal Data Protection Bill (DPB), 2019, at Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on Thursday, The News Minute reports.

The JPC report, now submitted after six extensions, says that, unlike the draft Bill, now the DPB includes both personal and non-personal data under its purview and will be dealt with by Data Protection Authority. The JPC recommended providing a period of 24 months to include changes to the policies of all parties. Further, the committee introduced guiding principles to handle data breaches. It sought companies dealing with children's data to obey the rules and what rules must be followed when the child becomes 18 years of age.

In Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the report proves that the JPC Chairman was cooperative, the government was accommodative, and the opposition was responsive. Government and opposition could work together. The committee's meetings were smooth despite its two chairpersons from BJP, he said.

The JPC had adopted the report on DPB last month while PP Chaudhary was its chairperson but two Congress MPs had submitted dissent notes. One of them was Ramesh, who had said then that he was compelled to submit a dissent note but should not detract from the democratic way JPC has functioned. Dissent notes are in the best spirit of the Parliamentary democracy, but sadly they are a "few and far between and under the Modi regime," Ramesh had said. The other MP who sent a dissent note was Manish Tiwari, who said that he could not agree with the fundamental design and construction of the DPB.

The DPB was brought to parliament in 2019 for the protection of personal data of citizens as well as to form a Data Protection Authority regarding the same, but gathered widespread flak and was referred to JPC for scrutiny. The Bill had given Union government powers to provide exemptions to its probe agencies from the provisions of the Act, which was vehemently contended by the opposition and had filed dissent notes.

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