Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Computing, announced on Wednesday called for a “New Digital Act” to replace the 20-year-old “obsolete” Information Technology Act 2000. Speaking at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum 2022 annual event, Chandrashekhar said: Right to privacy is necessary to keep pace with the times.
He also said that the planned new digital law will serve as a model for future internet case law.
He was referring to the Data Protection Bill, which has been in limbo for three years. He also mentioned that the bill could take longer to form because the administration does not want to rush it.
Prime Minister Modi has advised the ministry to carry out as much consultation as possible and the bill is being sent back to the ministry. Chandrashekhar added, âWe are going to continue this conversation for a bit longer in my opinion. I don’t want to rush into something and then come back with more amendments. The world needs to be given a signal that Indian cyberspace is safe, reliable, open and accountable and most importantly, highly predictable in terms of the jurisprudence surrounding it.
According to him, India is the most connected market in the world. âEven if you include China, we’re still one of the biggest markets in the world and one of the most connected democracies. We have a lot to teach the rest of the world about how to manage digitization, drive digital adoption, inclusiveness and access for all, while ensuring the internet is secure, trustworthy, open and accountable. “, did he declare.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee had finally tabled its long-awaited report on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, in December 2021.
âAny new law should not be rigid and too focused on the present. Rather, it should be flexible and open to broad interpretation, given the evolving nature of the technology space,â Chandrasekhar added, with a caveat.
He also has declared that the new rules should not impose an undue burden on startups and that the restrictions should be flexible.
Chandrasekhar also took aim at social media giants, calling for a concerted international effort to hold companies like Facebook and Google accountable.
He was quoted by Financial Express as saying: âIf we are to bring some common sense and consistency to how big tech platforms should be accountable to communities and society as a whole, countries will have to come together and cooperate. Often this attempt to regulate or even create some kind of common sense, rules and accountability is framed as a challenge to free speech.
He also added, âWhile digitizing our democracy is important, it is equally important to keep our democracy secure and to ensure that technology is deployed reliably and responsibly.â
India bans another 54 Chinese apps, total reaches 321
The minister’s statement on data privacy follows the Center’s recent decision to ban another 54 Chinese-made apps and games.
On Feb. 14, the Indian government issued an order banning another 54 China-related mobile apps under the emergency provision under Section 69(A) of the IT Act. According to the reports, the Home Office had sent a request to the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block the apps.
On June 29, 2020, the central government announced the banning of 59 Chinese apps, including the hugely popular short video app TikTok. Later on August 10, another set of 47 apps were banned, which were related or clones of previously banned apps. On September 1, 2020, another 118 apps were blocked, followed by 43 apps on November 19, for a total of 267 apps. Tiktok and PubG were the most popular apps that were banned by the Indian government for their links to China.