On 4th December 2019, The Union Cabinet cleared the Personal Data Protection Bill for introduction in the current session of Parliament. The Bill could be introduced in either house of the Parliament in the current Winter Session which will conclude on December 13. The Bill will provide details on collection and storage of personal data and its usage, individual users’ consent and the penalties for misuse of data. The draft bill, titled The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 was modelled by an expert group headed by former Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna.
The bill states that while personal data can be kept anywhere, sensitive personal data should be stored in India only and it can be processed with some conditions mainly consent. Besides this, it also states that critical data must be stored/processed only in India. Earlier copy of all personal and sensitive data was only to be stored in India while transfer of Sensitive data was to be allowed in specific cases only.
Ramesh Mamgain, Area Vice President India and SAARC Region from Commvault, an international Data and Information management Company said, “We welcome the Cabinet’s decision to pass the bill on personal data protection. This bill will help India and its citizens to fight threats and safeguard our country’s data integrity, sovereignty and security. The data localization aspect in the bill will need more discussion on the critical and not so critical parts and that discussion will evolve. A robust protection framework will further enable companies to manage and store data more securely in a structured format, tap actionable insights from data, unlocking its intrinsic value to drive innovation and growth for the Indian economy.”
He further added, “As a leading global provider of data protection solutions, Commvault foresees India to be at the epicenter of data protection and data management by 2025. With the exponential rise of smart devices and AI technologies, personal data will continue to remain vulnerable. The data protection bill will not only empower citizens to have command over where their data is stored, but will also prevent malpractices of phishing and misuse of personal data.”
The bill is expected to have a large impact on tech companies who will have to revamp their data processing and storage mechanisms. Commvault is the only NASDAQ listed data and information management company, with sizeable operations in India as well. It helps companies across the globe to manage their data, complying with regulatory standards.