Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

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Personal Data Protection Bill 2019
Personal Data Protection Bill 2019
Parliament of India
  • Personal Data Protection Bill 2019
Territorial extentIndia
Enacted byParliament of India
Legislative history
Bill published on11 December 2019
Introduced byRavi Shankar Prasad Minister of Electronics and Information
Committee reportJoint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Personal Data Protection
Status: Pending

The Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 (PDP Bill 2019) was tabled in the Indian Parliament by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on 11 December 2019.[1] As of March, 2020 the Bill is being analyzed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in consultation with experts and stakeholders. The JPC, which was set up in December, 2019, is headed by BJP Member of Parliament (MP) Meenakshi Lekhi. While the JPC was tasked with a short deadline to finalize the draft law before the Budget Session of 2020, it has sought more time to study the Bill and consult stakeholders.[2] [3][4]

The Bill covers mechanisms for protection of personal data and proposes the setting up of a Data Protection Authority of India for the same.[1] Some key provisions the 2019 Bill provides for which the 2018 draft Bill did not, such as that the central government can exempt any government agency from the Bill and the Right to Be Forgotten, have been included.[5][6]


In July 2017, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology set up a committee to study issues related to data protection. The committee was chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Justice B. N. Srikrishna.[7] The committee submitted the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018[8] in July 2018.[9][10][11] After further deliberations the Bill was approved by the cabinet ministry of India on 4 December 2019[12][13] as the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 and tabled in the Lok Sabha on 11 December 2019.[1]


The Bill aims to:[14]

to provide for protection of the privacy of individuals relating to their personal data, specify the flow and usage of personal data, create a relationship of trust between persons and entities processing the personal data, protect the fundamental rights of individuals whose personal data are processed, to create a framework for organisational and technical measures in processing of data, laying down norms for social media intermediary, cross-border transfer, accountability of entities processing personal data, remedies for unauthorised and harmful processing, and to establish a Data Protection Authority of India for the said purposes and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.


The revised 2019 Bill was criticized by Justice B. N. Srikrishna, the drafter of the original Bill, as having the ability to turn India into an “Orwellian State".[a][15] In an interview with Economic Times, Srikrishna said that, "The government can at any time access private data or government agency data on grounds of sovereignty or public order. This has dangerous implications.”[15] This view is shared by a think tank in their comment number 3.[16]

Fresh criticism on the international level comes from an advisor to a group proposing an alternative text.[17] A moderately critical summary is available from an India scholar working with an American co-author.[18]

The role of social media intermediaries is being regulated more tightly on several fronts. The Wikimedia Foundation is hoping that the PDP bill will prove the lesser evil compared with the Draft Information Technology [Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules] 2018.[19][20]

Forbes India reports that "there are concerns that the Bill [...] gives the government blanket powers to access citizens' data."[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Orwellian State is a term to denote draconian control of its people by a state as described in the novel ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ by George Orwell.


  1. ^ a b c "The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019". PRSIndia. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  2. ^ Agarwal, Surabhi. "Joint parliamentary committee wants more time to submit data bill note". The Economic Times.
  3. ^ "Joint Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 seeks views and suggestions".
  4. ^ Das, Goutam (17 December 2019). "Personal Data Protection Bill: More drama ahead". Business Today. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Key Changes in the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 from the Srikrishna Committee Draft". Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  6. ^ Mandavia, Megha (10 December 2019). "Data Protection Bill: Centre has the power to exempt any government agency from application of Act". The Economic Times. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 draft submitted by Justice Srikrishna Committee: Here is what it says". The Indian Express. 28 July 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Personal Data Protection Bill 2018" (PDF). MEITY. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  9. ^ PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Data Privacy Bill 2019: All you need to know". PwC. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018". PRSIndia. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  11. ^ PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Decoding the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, for individuals and businesses". PwC. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Union Cabinet clears Personal Data Protection Bill. Major takeaways from Cabinet meet". The Economic Times. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Cabinet approves Personal Data Protection Bill". The Hindu. PTI. 4 December 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 December 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019
  15. ^ a b Mandavia, Megha (12 December 2019). "Personal Data Protection Bill can turn India into 'Orwellian State': Justice BN Srikrishna". The Economic Times. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Our initial comments on the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019". Dvara Research. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  17. ^ Bhatia, Gautam (19 February 2020). "India's Growing Surveillance State: New Technologies Threaten Freedoms in the World's Largest Democracy". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  18. ^ Basu, Arindrajit; Sherman, Justin (23 January 2020). "Key Global Takeaways From India's Revised Personal Data Protection Bill". Lawfare blog. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  19. ^ Agarwal, Surabhi (27 December 2019). "Wikimedia flags worries on data law". The Economic Times. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Draft Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules] 2018". PRSIndia. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  21. ^ "The Personal Data Protection Bill could be a serious threat to Indians' privacy". Forbes India. Retrieved 21 December 2019.

External links[edit]