Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 04 July 2020

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam


Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam


UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper - III : General Studies - II : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations

Q. Critically examine the provisions of introduced Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019. (250 words)

Model Answer:

  • Introduction
  • Provisions of the recently introduced Data Protection Bill, 2019
  • Arguments against Data Protection Bill, 2019
  • Arguments in support of the Data Protection Bill 2019
  • Conclusion

Introduction:

The Personal Data Protection Bill seeks to protect the privacy of personal data, regulate the processing of "sensitive" and "critical" personal data and establish a Data Protection Authority of India (DPAI) for regulations. The bill is now being examined by a joint select committee before it is taken up for passing in the parliament.

Provisions of the recently introduced Data Protection Bill, 2019:

Some of the key features of the bill are as follows:

  • The Bill governs the processing of personal data by (i) government, (ii) companies incorporated in India, and (iii) foreign companies dealing with personal data of individuals in India
  • The bill promotes the provision of Data Fiduciary. A data fiduciary is an entity or individual who decides the means and purpose of processing personal data.
  • The Bill allows the processing of data by fiduciaries only if consent is provided by the individual. Only in certain circumstances, personal data can be processed without consent.
  • Establish Data Protection Authority of India (DPAI) to protect the interests of individuals, prevent misuse of personal data, ensure compliance and promote awareness about data protection.
  • Sensitive personal data may be transferred outside India for processing if consent is provided by the individual. However, such sensitive personal data should continue to be stored in India.

Arguments against Data Protection Bill, 2019:

  • The bill categorizes data of individuals into three categories - critical, sensitive and general the government can, bypass restrictions to give complete access to itself or any agency under it to access the data.
  • The provision will allow the government to order any social media platform Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, Twitter, and others to share user-specific data in some special cases.
  • The draft bill has been criticized on the ground that if the need arises necessary data may be processed without obtaining consent from the concerned user.
  • Non-personal data can also be obtained without consent to help in the delivery of government services and for policy formulation.
  • The bill has been criticized heavily as it states that all or any of the provisions of this act shall not apply to any agency of the Government in respect of the processing of such personal data.
  • Wide-ranging exemptions allow the government to grab the data of its citizens, ostensibly to fulfill governance responsibilities but it may be used as a surveillance tool.

Arguments in support of the Data Protection Bill 2019:

  • The most acknowledged provision of the bill is a punishment to the companies involved in a breach of data as it would impact the privacy of the citizens.
  • The heavy fine of that will be imposed in case of a data breach is an additional safeguard for data security.
  • Data Localization would help in the process of investigation of crimes. This would promote internal security.
  • The bill also encourages entities to start processing data in India. India is expected to become one of the world’s biggest centers of data refinery.

Conclusion:

The Supreme Court in the Puttaswamy Judgement stated that the right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is necessary to protect personal data as an essential facet of informational privacy. Though the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 tries to ensure the privacy of the citizens yet various loopholes are present in the draft bill. Those loopholes need attention before the bill becomes an act.

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