US business group raises concern over provisions in Data Protection Bill

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The US India Business Council has expressed concern over the provisions of Personal Data Protection Bill introduced in the Indian parliament, saying that some of its provisions raise serious concern for the private sector.

"The bill contains several new provisions outside the core issue of data privacy that raise serious concerns for the private sector, particularly the inclusion of requirements around non-personal data and social media intermediary liabilities, USIBC president Nisha Desai Biswal said in a statement on Wednesday.

The PDPB was on Wednesday referred to a joint select committee of both Houses of Parliament.

A resolution moved by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was passed by Lok Sabha by a voice vote.

Biswal said that there was a need for the government to remain focused on essential data privacy issues.

Given the need for additional discussion, we urge the government to remain focused on essential data privacy issues and to take up these matters in existing policy efforts that already being done in parallel to the PDPB, Biswal said.

USIBC also suggested the bill be revised to provide ample time to establish a new Data Protection Authority (DPA) and strengthen the DPA's independence and effectiveness, as well as allow companies to transform business operations, develop new technologies, and innovate digital solutions.

We remain committed to working closely with the government as the bill moves through the parliamentary process, and commend the clear process outlined for the Bill's introduction and passage next year, Biswal said.

She said that the Indian government should recognise the importance of establishing a sound data protection framework.

We note the requirements for data localisation have been relaxed, enabling access to the global processing and data analytics that sustain India's nearly USD 200 billion digital economy, Biswal said.

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