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Data Protection Leader
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Volume: 14 Issue: 8
(August 2017)

data protection act human rights constitution


India: MeitY forms committee to find legislative solutions to privacy

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (‘MeitY’) announced, on 31 July 2017, that the Government of India had decided to constitute a panel of key figures and experts to identify and analyse critical data protection issues faced by India and recommend methods of addressing them (‘the Committee’), including by way of a draft data protection bill. The announcement arrives in the wake of arguments made during the ongoing constitutional case on whether privacy should be recognised as a fundamental right, currently being deliberated upon by an enlarged panel of the Supreme Court of India.

Mathew Chacko, Partner at Spice Route Legal, said, “Given the amount of pressure exerted by civil society, the continuous instances of leaks from private as well as government databases and the strong possibility of an endorsement of a constitutional right to privacy by the Supreme Court, the Government may not have had an option but to craft a legislative solution that balances the protection of the rights of the individual with the legitimate interest of various other stakeholders.”

Terms of reference for the Committee, as per the memorandum issued by MeitY, include to study various issues relating to data protection in India, to make specific suggestions for consideration by the Government on principles to be considered for data protection, and that the Committee shall endeavour to submit its report as expeditiously as possible.

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