Safeguarding Personal Data: A Milestone Achieved

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23 Aug, 23 10:55
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Safeguarding Personal Data: A Milestone Achieved

In a significant development, the Lok Sabha introduced a pivotal Bill concerning the protection of digital data onAugust 3. Surpassing the clamor, the Bill, carrying implications for every individual, swiftly passed through both Houses within a week. Remarkably, the ensuing law, named the Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023, received Presidential approval on August 11, ushering in a new era of data security. This legislative triumph is the culmination of a meticulous refinement process spanning six years and incorporating five iterations. Notably, the discourse involved a staggering 48 organizations and 39 ministries, underscoring the gravity of the subject. A staggering influx of approximately 24,000 inputs was received by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology during this period. A Growing Digital Footprint The period between 2015 and 2021 has witnessed a staggering surge of 200 percent in broadband connections within rural regions, accompanied by a robust 158 percent growth inurbanareas.This surgeunderscores theincreasedreliance on internet services, resulting in a trove of essential individual data resting with service providers. The ascent of broadband connections, both wireless and wireline, has been nothing short of remarkable since 2014. Figures have surged from 6.1 crore to an impressive 83.22 crorebyDecember31,2022.Ofthese,anoverwhelming79.98 crore are mobile connections, while 3.23 crore are fixed-line installations. Notably, the rapid deployment of over three lakh 5G mobile towers across 714 districts within a span of 10 months since the launch of 5G services is a notable achievement. A Speedy Path Forward A tangible timeline of six to ten months is envisaged for the formulation of the operational regulations and successful onboarding of companies. Encouragingly, Union Minister forElectronicsandInformationTechnology,AshwiniVaishnaw, expressed optimism in potentially surpassing this timeline. The Crux of the Matter The crux of the matter lies in whether India can effectively shield its citizens' personal data within a burgeoning digital economy heavily reliant on amassing and amalgamating user information for service provisioning. Crucial data sets, including Aadhaar numbers, income-tax transactions, financial and insurance records, credit card particulars, vaccination histories, transportation usage, and the array of applications cateringtodailyneeds suchasgroceries, sustenance, and medication, all rest on data collation platforms.

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