What Does The Indian Personal Data Protection Bill Say?

Information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said that the bill will be introduced in the Parliament during the current winter session

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The widely discussed Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill has finally received a green signal from the union government. The bill proposes that any critical information related to individuals should be stored and processed only in India. It states that “sensitive personal data” needs to be stored locally but can be processed in abroad, subject to certain conditions. 


According to media reports, information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said that the bill will be introduced in the Parliament during the current winter session. The reports also revealed that the bill may include guidelines on collection, storage and processing of personal data, consent of individuals, penalties and compensation, code of conduct and an enforcement model.

However, reports suggest that the government is planning to allow internet companies to store and process non-personal data of the Indian users on international servers.

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What Does The PDP Bill Say?

The draft PDP bill was introduced by a committee in July 2018. The bill has defined personal data as any data of a natural person which allows direct or indirect identifiability. The bill defines sensitive personal data as financial data, biometric data, religious and political beliefs, caste, intersex/transgender status, and official IDs such as Permanent Account Number.

After several recent incidents of data breaches, the Indian government’s step towards data localisation to safeguard Indian internet users is a welcome move.

Citing government sources, media reports revealed that the bill proposed social media companies to create a mechanism so that a voluntary verifiable mechanism has to be made when Indians register themselves on the platform.

PDP Bill Not Popular Globally 

The data protection bill garnered criticism from e-commerce and social media companies across the globe.

Tech giants have reportedly shown their discontentment with the bill as this may require them to change their business models. Foreign portfolio investors dealing in securities traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange have also voiced their displeasure with the bill.

Shreya Ganguly

Written By

Covering startups and investments for Entrepreneur India. Previously a startup correspondent at Inc42. Reach out to me with interesting story ideas at sganguly@entrepreneurindia.com.