Data Protection Rules To Be Notified By December-End, Says MoS Chandrasekhar

Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar also said that the Digital India bill will likely not come up in the parliament before the general elections
Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar

The detailed rules of the recently enacted Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act will be notified by the end of December or early January, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for IT, said on Wednesday. "The rules that go into the DPDP Act will be out for consultation later this month. It is ready and we will notify the rules by the end of this month or early next month," he said.

The DPDP Act came into being in August 2023 after it was passed in both houses of the parliament followed by presidential assent. The law addresses the issue of personal data governance in the country and requires all companies offering services in India to process personal data only with explicit consent from concerned individuals. There are, however, notable exceptions to this consent mechanism.

For the DPDP Act to become operational, at least 25 rules have to be notified and placed before the parliament for approval. The government also has to establish a data protection board (DPB) which will act as the the appellate authority for addressing grievances under the DPDP Act.

Internet service companies and industry bodies have already asked the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) to give a 12-24 month timeline for them to comply with the provisions included in the DPDP Act. The setting up of a new consent seeking mechanism is expected to require an overhaul of existing data collection procedure.

Minister Chandrasekhar also clarified that the Digital India Act, touted to supersede the existing IT Act, will not come up in the parliament before the next general elections scheduled for May 2024. "The Digital India Act is a work in progress, we have the draft ready. I suspect that before the next elections, we will not be able to legislate it," he said.

The Information Technology Act (2000) is the country's primary legal framework when it comes to governance of electronic communication, ecommerce and cybercrimes. Given the technological advancements in the past two decades, the dated law is set to be replaced with the upcoming Digital India bill.

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