JPC on data bill to meet on Friday after 4 months; govt officials to brief the committee – The Economic Times

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NEW DELHI: The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) studying the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is expected to meet on Friday after a four month hiatus. According to sources, officials from the ministry of electronics and IT (MEITY), ministry of home affairs (MHA) and the unique identification authority (UIDAI) of India have been invited to brief the committee even as it has in the past sounded off companies and associations like Nasscom for a deposition soon.

ET had reported last week that the committee, which was supposed to submit its report in the Monsoon session of the Parliament this year has reached out to companies such as Amazon and Microsoft, industry lobby group Nasscom and some academic institutions, ahead of the depositions on the landmark Bill.

The committee last sought stakeholder feedback in February and wrote to the companies and institutions asking for a presentation from them which will support the “oral submission” that they make when they appear before the committee.

The date of submission of the presentations was June 8.

Since its formation in January, the committee headed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi has held only internal meetings, where officials from the Ministry of Electronics and IT have briefed it on the provisions of the Bill, which has been in the making for over three years.

The industry has highlighted some top issues — inclusion of non-personal data in the Bill, exemptions that the government has granted for itself, voluntary verification of users by social media companies and weakening of the Data Protection Authority.

Companies have also raised the issue of high cost of compliance under the Bill and the risks to start-ups and the software exports industry.

Nasscom highlighted in a post key points from its February submission which included requests for reconsidering provisions related to the sharing of non-personal data under the PDP Bill which raise intellectual property rights concerns.

It is also asked the government to appropriately define the scope of sensitive personal data and grounds for its processing.

It is seeking clarity on the application of the PDP Bill, timelines for compliance along with specifying functions of the Data Protection Authority. It also wants the inclusion of criminal offences in the PDP Bill to be reconsidered.

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