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India's Joint Parliamentary Committee Announces Recommended Changes to Privacy Bill

Last month, the Indian Joint Parliamentary Committee submitted its report on the 2019 Personal Data Protection Bill after two years of consideration, research, and analysis. The bill, while not a certainty but likely to pass, would replace what some consider to be archaic data protection regulations. Although not finalized, the biggest obstacle if implemented as envisioned is strict data localization. India has been in the group of countries legislating data privacy for decades, culminating in the 2021 JPC report submission. Here’s a look at the history of data privacy legislation in India.

 

The History of Data Privacy Legislation in India

  • 2000 – Information Technology Act is passed by parliament and signed by President K.R. Narayanan addressing electronic documents, e-signatures, and record authentication.
  • 2017 – The Indian Supreme Court hears Justice KS Puttaswamy vs Union of Indiaand passes a historic judgment affirming the constitutional right to privacy.
  • 2019 – Introduction of the Personal Data Protection Bill and immediately sent to the JPC to be examined.
  • 2021 – JPC submits report on PDP to Indian Parliament revisions.

 

The long-awaited report submitted December 16, 2021 by the JPC has provided necessary clarification and modifications that seek to enhance the syntax and governance of the bill.

 

The recommended amendments are as follows:

  • Scope – The bill has a proposed name change to Data Protection Bill and will cover both personal and non-personal data which is unusual as distinction of data type can be difficult when managing mass amounts of data. Clauses also address the deceased and transfer of minor rights (see Clause 16 below).
  • Implementation Timeline – The report outlines a timeline with a 24-month implementation period for data processors to comply.
  • Definitions – The following terms have been defined or revised: consent manager, data auditor, data breach, data fiduciary, data processor, data protection officer, harm, and non-personal data.
  • Clauses 13 & 14 – These clauses apply to consent of personal data processing for employment and legitimate interest, marrying the interests of both the data principal and data fiduciary.
  • Clause 16 – Entities dealing with the data of children must register with the DPA and are required to communicate with the subject 3 months prior to adult age to regain consent and “must continue providing the services to the child unless the child withdraws consent.”

 

The implementation timeline for the Data Protection Bill is still unknown but will likely be a phased approach. Like California, there is discussion of an oversight committee called the Data Protection Authority of India that would supervise compliance with the proposed law. With the notable amendments to the bill, it’s unlikely we’ll see this come to fruition quickly. Not unlike most proposed privacy legislation, it has been met with dissent and opposition and will have to make its way through the courts of India before becoming law.

 

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You Shall Not Pass: WA, OK and FL Privacy Bills at a Standstill

The influx of states proposing and voting on privacy bills has been a good sign for consumers that lawmakers are concerned about data privacy. But at this point, we’ve only seen California, Virginia, and Nevada actually succeed in passing such legislation. Since more states are addressing consumer data privacy, we want to dive into why some aren’t passing the first, second, or even third time.

Passing Privacy Legislation Takes Time and Compromise

Truyo’s president, Dan Clarke, is seeing a trend - states with short sessions are having a harder time reaching a settlement after negotiating terms between the House and the Senate. “We’re seeing that states with longer session times have a real chance at passing because they have time to reconcile recommended alterations to the proposed bill,” says Clarke.

This has been the case for Washington State, Oklahoma, and Florida most recently. Let’s take a look at the latest states to have proposed privacy acts and subsequently seen them come to a halt.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma privacy bill, titled the Oklahoma Computer Data Privacy Act, failed in the Senate in early April 2021. The obstacle for this bill was disagreement on a provision that necessitated businesses to acquire consumer consent to collect, use, or sell personal data. We learned that it wasn’t just lawmakers who were conflicted with this provision – companies in the technology and communications sectors also opposed this bill aggressively, according to Squire Patton Boggs, a global law firm.

Washington State

It was the third year in a row for the Washington State Legislature to vote on the Washington State Privacy Act in April 2021. The House and Senate had differing ideas on the limited private right of action in the last two iterations of the bill. The bill originally missed the April 11, 2021 deadline for non-fiscal legislation but was given an exception to continue under consideration according to State Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D). Negotiations failed to bring about an agreement that could be voted on before the Washington State Legislature adjourned on April 25, 2021.

Florida

House Bill 969 made Florida a front-runner to pass privacy legislation in April before the House and Senate passed incongruent versions with and without private rights of action, respectively. The disparity caused the lawmakers to not reach reconciliation and the bill was halted on April 30, 2021.

Bills that don’t pass often see amendments and modifications in order to bring them back to life for future voting. As we’ve seen with Washington State, multiple iterations may be needed before the House and Senate can agree and move the bill to the governor’s desk. Truyo will continue to keep an eye on pending legislation and provide updates as they are available. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn for the latest.

Ale Johnson
About Ale Johnson
Ale Johnson is the Marketing Content Specialist at Truyo.
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