The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has written to a few stakeholders, asking for additional comments on the proposed Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill. The ministry has sought responses from them by August 25, according to a news report.
MeitY Joint Secretary J Gopalakrishnan told online news portal MediaNama the ministry has asked for clarifications from people who had given their comments on the proposed Bill. It was not clear who these individuals concerned were.
Several people and industry associations who have submitted their comments, denied having received any communication regarding the clarifications from the MeitY.
The additional questions, a copy of which was seen by Business Standard, includes questions such as whether the draft Bill imposes adequate obligations on the data fiduciary, whether the stakeholder feels it is necessary to mandate storage of all types of personal data in India, and not just critical data, the role, scope, powers and authority of the proposed regulator or the Data Protection Authority of India (DPA)?
"What could be the contours of a policy that should govern non-personal data such as community data, anonymized data, e-commerce data etc.? Could there be a case for mandating free access to such non-personal data such as community data, anonymised data, e-commerce data etc.?" are other questions the ministry has asked.
The PDP Bill was submitted to MeitY on July 27 in 2018. After a public outcry over the lack of consultation with various stakeholders in preparing the Bill, MeitY invited public comments from August to October, last year.
Since then, there have been many speculations in terms of what the final Bill will look like. It was widely expected to be tabled in the just-concluded session of the Parliament, but this fresh round of consultations could mean some fine-tuning and further amendments might be on the way.