The Indian government has withdrawn its long-awaited Personal Data Protection Bill that drew scrutiny from several privacy advocates and tech giants who feared the legislation could restrict how they managed sensitive information while giving government broad powers to access it.
The move comes as a surprise as lawmakers had indicated recently that the bill, unveiled in 2019, could see the revamp soon enough. New Delhi received dozens of amendments and recommendations from a parliamentary panel.
The Personal Data Protection Bill sought to empower Indian citizens with rights relating to their data. India, the world’s second largest internet market, has seen an explosion of personal data in the past decade as hundreds of citizens came online for the first time and started consuming scores of apps. But there has been uncertainty on how much power the individuals, private companies and government agencies have over it.
Meta, Google and Amazon were some of the companies that had expressed concerns about some of the recommendations by the joint parliamentary committee on the proposed bill.
The bill also mandated that companies may only store certain categories of sensitive and critical data, including financial, health and biometric information in India.
India’s digital future depends on these future amendments that going to drive for development.