Government succumbs to threats from Big Tech and withdraws Data Protection Bill

Yesterday, in a surprise move, the Government of India withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 in the Parliament. It was a huge embarrassment for the Government as it is clear that the withdrawal was because of the opposition from the Big Tech.

When MR Ravishankar Prasad lost his minister post for criticizing Twitter, it was clear that the Social Media was powerful enough to determine who should be there and who should not be there in the IT Ministry.

Since then excuses after excuses have been provided to delay the Bill until this decision to withdraw.

Publicly, it is stated (Refer that there were 81 amendments suggested in the 99 section bill and hence the Government wanted to revamp it completely.  The minister has stated that they will introduce a new bill in replacement. This means that the new bill will go again for a JPC and it will take a few more years to pass.

The Government of India must remember that they are working on public money and if two years of JPC work is being thrown to the gutter for not being able to re-write the 12 recommendations into the Bill during the debate, it is the public money is being wasted.

This is similar to the withdrawal of the Farmer’s bill where the Government has shown that it has no courage to take strong decisions even when it is not related to such complex legislations such as Uniform Civil Code or Freeing of Temples from Government Control or taking action against terrorism etc.

It is a black day for India and when we are in the process of showing our pride by displaying national flag on every house top as a part of 75 year celebration, this comes as a reminder that we as a country are yet to be courageous enough to lead the country to progress.

I have been already receiving messages from some friends expressing disappointment on the development.

However, as well as FDPPI will continue their work on  Privacy and Data Protection as well as for the use of Section 43A of ITA 2000/8 as the current law for Privacy Protection and Data Protection in India and wait for a the Government to muster enough courage to face the Big Tech and the political opposition.


About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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