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Picture credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
 
 
Mixed reactions to withdrawal of Data Protection Bill

August 6 2022 ( updated  August 7): A day after the withdrawal of the Personal Data Protection Bill, media has commented on its implications. The general consensus is that  a loot needs to be done.
Financial Express August 5 2022: article by Ayushman Baruah: Tech companies and industry bodies are eyeing a more conducive Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill after the government withdrew the proposed legislation on Wednesday. 
The Telegraph  Aug 6 2022  Editorial: Get it Right: The Narendra Modi government executed another somersault earlier this week when it opted to withdraw the controversial data protection and privacy legislation framed in 2019. Data privacy has been a hot-button issue ever since the Centre rejected a stack of recommendations made late last year by a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee to recast some of the Orwellian elements in the original legislation…One of the biggest ironies in the entire process is the attempt to fix rigid, immutable regulations for a digital economy that is in a state of constant flux. 
The  Times of India, August 5 2022:  OpEd: What a new Data Law must have: Our new law should focus on personal data and exclude non-personal data. Personal data is data about an individual or which relates to one, for example, our name, phone number, chat history, credit history, profile details etc. In contrast, non-personal data is not about any individual – data about traffic and diversions, soil trends, weather patterns, or aggregate data such as the number of cab users in a locality are a few examples.
Economic Times    August 5 022: Editorial: Protect data without stifling enterprise: Privacy protection that does not inhibit the digital economy is vital for a government expecting technology to fuel the next phase of India's development. It is up to GoI to find the shortest course to finding a balance among regulatory overreach, ease of doing business and trade distortion.
The Hindu Businessline August 5 2022: Editorial: The JPC has skirted the controversy around Clause 35 of the proposed Bill, which gives powers to the Centre to exempt any agency of the government from application of the Act. Furthermore, the process of appointment of the presiding officers of the Data Protection Authority (DPA) entails heavy involvement of the government under Clause 42. As things stand, these issues may not be addressed in the new avatar of the Bill, given that the JPC had earlier rejected the proposed changes in this regard…..The line needs to be drawn here to reconcile the interests of citizens, companies and the State – with the Bill providing recourse to citizens in the event of unethical data breach.
The Hindu August 6 2022: Editorial: A fresh opportunity: On the rollback of the Personal Data Protection Bill.  The 2019 Bill had been rightly criticised by stakeholders, including Justice B.N. Srikrishna — he chaired a committee of experts that had authored a draft bill in 2018 — for overemphasising the national security angle, among other reasons.
Deccan Herald: August 6 2022: Editorial:The 2019 Bill had been rightly criticised by stakeholders, including Justice B.N. Srikrishna — he chaired a committee of experts that had authored a draft bill in 2018 — for overemphasising the national security angle, among other reasons.
Indian Express August 6 2022: OpEd: Withdrawal of Personal Data Protection Bill: Who benefits from the delay? Apar Gupta and Tejasi Panjiar write: The reasons provided to justify the withdrawal of the bill are not convincing. Status quo in the unregulated collection and exploitation of personal data of millions of Indians is disturbing.