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10 Jun 2024

Data Protection Laws in India

10 Jun 2024
Data Protection Laws in India

India’s Growth Brings Data Privacy and Protection into Focus: Understanding the Current Data Protection and Privacy Laws in India

India has rapidly grown in technology and economy, but this growth has also brought up the issue of data privacy and protection. Unfortunately, India has lacked any substantive legislative framework focusing primarily on data privacy and protection privacy laws in India. However, the government has formed a committee of experts to draft a data protection bill. The first bill in 2006 was based on the European data privacy directive, highlighting the need for stronger laws like the data protection laws in Europe.

Current Legislative Safeguards: IT Act and IT Rules

Data protection safeguards in India are mainly provided by the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, and IT Rules, which constitute inter-alia, the data privacy laws in India. These regulations provide the basic legislative safeguards for data security, privacy, and protection in India. The amendment of IT Act, 2008 added Sections 43A and 72A. Section 43 and 43A deal with unauthorized access of information and leakage of sensitive personal information while the Adjudicating officer (when claim or damages amounts upto 5 crores) or competent court (where claim exceeds beyond 5 crores) appointed under the Act can handle such cases and any appeal from such order passed shall lie with the Cyber Appellate Tribunals. Section 72 deals with disclosure of information in breach of contract and punishment for it, underlining the importance of data privacy regulations in India.

Judicial Safeguards After the AADHAR Judgment: The Need for Personal Data Protection

Data protection was first recognized by the Supreme Court in 2017 in the Aadhar Judgment, emphasizing the need for stronger data privacy laws. The court demanded the enactment of a proper legislation on data protection which should conform with the right to privacy of the individual, and the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 was created after this judgment. However, the same has been withdrawn and a new bill – Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 (2022 Bill) has been released in November 2022 for inviting comments from public. The 2022 Bill recognizes various rights and duties of the citizen and the obligations of the Data Fiduciary to use the collected data lawfully extending to include data collected for offshore/ cross border arrangements, and lays out the penalty for contravention.

Data Protection Bill 2022: The Need for Stronger Data Protection Laws

The committee of experts headed by retired Chief Justice BN Srikrishna had drafted the Personal Data Protection Bill in 2018. However, considering the ever evolving technology and data breaches and the increasing number of citizens using and relying on digital platforms, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) withdrew the 2018 Bill and replaced it with the comprehensive 2022 Bill. The Bill also defines a child (person under the age of 18 years) and states that parents’ consent is required for data collection from a child.

In Conclusion: Balancing Data Protection and Growth

According to the Supreme Court in the Puttaswamy judgment, the right to privacy is a fundamental right. The government policy on data protection must not dissuade framing any policy for the growth of the digital economy, to the extent that it doesn’t infringe on personal data privacy. India has one of the world’s largest population and a lot of sectors are unorganised and data is easily breached. As businesses operate in a globalized world, there is also a need to follow international data protection laws. Therefore, understanding right to privacy and data protection in India is crucial as we move towards a digitalized future. The establishment of a data protection authority and regularising how data is collected and used in India will go a long way in achieving this balance between data protection and growth.

FAQ’s

Q: Can personal data be shared without permission in India?

A: In India, sharing personal data without permission is not legal. The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, and IT Rules, 2011, provide the basic legislative safeguards for data security, privacy, and protection in India.

Q: Is data sharing legal in India?

A: Data sharing is legal in India, but only if the consent of the individuals whose data is being shared has been obtained prior. The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, aims to enhance data protection in India by providing a framework for securing personal data, regulating its processing, and preventing misuse.

Q: Why is data privacy important?

A: Data privacy is important because it ensures that individuals have control over their personal information and can decide who can access it, how it is used, and for what purpose. Data privacy also plays an important role in preventing identity theft, fraud, and other forms of cybercrime.

Q: What are the 7 rules of data protection?

A: The 7 rules of data protection are transparency, accountability, purpose limitation, data minimization, accuracy, storage limitation, and security. Transparency involves informing individuals how their data is used, while accountability refers to taking responsibility for processing the data. Purpose limitation means that personal data collection and processing should only be done for specific, legitimate purposes. Data minimization aims to ensure that only the minimum amount of data is collected and processed. Accuracy involves ensuring that personal data is correct and up-to-date. Storage limitation refers to the idea that personal data should only be kept for as long as necessary. Finally, security involves protecting personal data against unauthorized access, loss, or damage.

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Disclaimer – The content of this document is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting on the basis of this write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

Posted by
Treelife
Last updated on
Jun 10, 2024, 2:04pm

Disclaimer:

The content of this article is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Author / Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

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