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A Critique

The Emergence of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 is more fully understood in the context of three key developments: the political and legal challenges to Aadhaar, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, and the “tech-lash” against the dominance of some of the largest United States-based tech companies at the expense of the domestic industry. In the bill, the interplay between these distinct pieces of context explains why there is work to be done to improve this bill in its journey to becoming a law.

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 is a creature of its environment. The substance of this draft law and the urgency with which it has been drafted are both more fully understood within this context. Less than a year after the government appointed the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee to draft the law, the bill has already been made public for comments, and its journey to Parliament seems imminent. Previous attempts have lacked this momentum, and even their outcomes seem to be fading from official memory (in 2012, the Justice A P Shah Committee suggested nine principles to codify the right to privacy).

In this article, I trace three distinct developments that are reflected in the substantive provisions of this bill, and the process that led to it.

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Updated On : 24th Sep, 2018

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