Is Meity looking like Mohammad Bin Tughlaq?

If media reports are to be believed, Meity is looking like a Mohamad Bin Tughlaq changing its stand again and again…. and again. It appears that there is no clarity on what is to be done in respect of the data protection law in India.

This is the inference one can draw from the article which has appeared in Hindustan Times under the title “Non Personal Data likely to be dropped from new data law”under the byline of Deeksha Bharadwaj.

There is every possibility that the report might have been planted by the vested interests who donot want the law to be passed, which includes the top Tech Companies and is an attempt to project Indian Government as indecisive.

The inclusion of two amendments  in the Act namely one which included “Non Personal Data including Anonymised Personal Data” under applicability and the “Reporting of Non personal data breach to the regulator” were suggested by the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

If these two amendments are dropped, there will be no serious effect on the law. It may even be considered as a welcome move. CERT IN will take care of the data breach report of Non Personal Data and the concept of “Anonymisation” which is an irreversible process subject to a standard approved by the regulator keeps the ITA 2000 and data protection law different.

The other consequential change that will be required would be the dropping of the change of name of the Act from DPA 2021/22 back to PDPA2022.

The need to include non personal data was felt because of the opposition to Section 92 which states

“The Central Government may, in consultation with the Authority, direct any data fiduciary or data processor to provide any personal data anonymised or other non-personal data to enable better targeting of delivery of services or formulation of evidence-based policies by the Central Government, in such manner as may be prescribed.”

This is an enabling provision and with or without the law considered as a legitimate right  of the sovereign Government. Even if it remains in the statute there is going to be no impact on the constitutionality of the law though the Andolan Jeevies” may continue to raise their  voice.

All the dilly dallying by the MeitY is indicative of complete lack of conviction on its part on how to go about the law. MeitY needs proper guidance to take decisions which are routine but are needlessly portrayed as “Controversial”.

Government must accept  that as long as Andolan Jeevies are alive, any thing done by the Government would be challenged in the Court and this is now part of the law making process. Hence expected objections from them cannot be excuses for the Government to look like a spineless body.

I hope that the views expressed in Hindustan Times is not indicative of Meity’s reluctance to pass the law and the issues referred to there in would be suitably factored into the current draft whether the act  is called PDPA 2022 or DPA 2022.


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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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