New Delhi, Dec 11 (GCCurrentAffairs) The Bill that seeks to bring regulation around usage and storage of personal data and which would empower the government to ask companies such as Google and Facebook for information on data was on Wednesday referred to a joint select committee of Parliament.
The decision follows announcement made by IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during introduction of the Bill that it will bring a resolution in the House to refer it to a parliamentary panel.
Personal data breaches issue has surfaced lately after reports about surveillance including WhasApp came to light.
Opposition parties have expressed concern that the right of privacy of citizens would be compromised in the new draft law Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 is enacted as a law.
Congress member Shashi Tharoor, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology, said the Bill should be referred to his panel.
The ruling side hopes that the Joint Select Committee could bring out a report before the Budget session, which might be held in the later part of January.
The Bill aims to spell out a framework for handling of personal data including its processing by public and private entities.
IT Minister also said the Supreme Court has mandated that the government bring up a personal data protection law.
The Bill seeks to contain broad guidelines on collection, storage and processing of personal data, consent of individuals, penalties and compensation, code of conduct and an enforcement model.
As Modi government pushed for digitisation, the need for a comprehensive data protection law was acknowledged by the government and the decision was taken last year to bring a draft legislation.
Mr Prasad told the Lower House of Parliament that the government is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals adding that anonymous data will be available for policy making.