‘Fast-tracking work on data protection bill’

Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said the government is “fast-tracking” consultations on the draft personal data protection bill and soon, an inter-ministerial consultation will also be initiated.

The Minister said “widest consultation and feedback” would be undertaken regarding the “milestone” legislation and all efforts to introduce the bill in the upcoming session of Parliament — beginning December 11 — are on.

“This being a milestone legislation, widest consultation is always desirable. One was done under Justice B. N. Srikrishna, next we put it up online for feedback… then, there will be inter-ministerial consultation,” Mr. Prasad told the media at the release of Yojana magazine’s special issue on Digital India.

The draft bill, which was released earlier this year after an almost year-long consultation process, had proposed that critical personal data of Indian citizens be processed in centres located within the country.

Penalties for violations

It had also proposed financial penalties for data processor for violations of the data protection law.

The Minister further added that the government’s Digital India initiatives had gone beyond the political divide. “No State government has opposed this initiative that has the potential to change India,” he said.

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