Indian Government has proposed a new set of rules that would need the companies to inform users before collecting and processing their personal data but these new rules are proposed to allow the companies to hand-over “non-personal” data of the users to the government, and central government would have the power to collect any data of the citizens if the country that gave their data to the companies without consent.
The new rules are proposed in the “Personal Data Protection Bill 2019,” which is expected to be announced and discussed in the Parliament of the country in a couple of weeks as it has been passed by the Union Cabinet but a leaked copy of the bill has been published by the Indian News website MediaNama.com.
If the bill passes it will add to another controversial bill passed by the New Delhi government earlier this year that allows the government to snoop into citizen’s devices without their consent. Also, another rule in the bill would allow the central government to ask any “data fiduciary or data processor” to hand over “anonymized” “non-personal data” for the purpose of better governance, among others.
After it will be made public it is expected that it will create challenges for Google, Facebook, Twitter, ByteDance’s TikTok and other companies that are already under the eyes of the regulatory authorities in the nation.
The proposed bill was conceptualized by the government two years ago and has gone under significant changes (check here) the earlier draft mentioned that the government must not have the ability to collect or process personal data of its citizens unless a lawful procedure was followed. In the latest version of the bill, it appears that the payment services, internet service providers, search engines, online encyclopedias, email services, and online storage services as “social media intermediaries” are not included.
One of the proposed rules, that is specifically targeted at Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media company that enables “interaction between two or more users,” requires them to give their users an option to verify their identity and then publicly have such status displayed on their profile — similar to the blue tick that Facebook and Twitter reserve for celebrities and other accounts of public interest. This is the government’s plan to curb the spread of false information.
Udbhav Tiwari, a public policy advisor at Mozilla, said New Delhi’s bill would “represent new, significant threats to Indians’ privacy. If Indians are to be truly protected, it is urgent that parliament reviews and addresses these dangerous provisions before they become law.”
Follow this thread by Medianama to get live updates from the bill.
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