The much-awaited data protection policy may soon come out as the recommendations on the draft Data Protection Bill are ready, and can be submitted to the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, any day within this week.

An expert Committee chaired by retired Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna has prepared the recommendations. The Committee was set up in December to study various issues relating to data protection in India and make specific suggestions on principles to be considered for data protection and suggest a draft Data Protection Bill.

The objective was to ‘ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected.’

“The recommendations (on the draft policy) are ready and the Committee has asked a time from the Minister (Ravi Shankar Prasad) so that they can further discuss issues or clarifications, if any,” a senior government official told BusinessLine .

Sources close to the development said that if there are no further discussions, the draft may soon go to the Cabinet. The recommendations come at a time when there are a lot of issues and reports around data leakage, and harvesting of data of Indian citizens by social media sites.

The government has also recently said that it will not allow “fly-by-night” data mining firms to improperly harvest social media data of Indian citizens.

Facebook data leak

It has already slapped notices to the controversial, UK-based data mining firm Cambridge Analytica for improperly obtaining information from tens of millions of Facebook users globally, including in India and is awaiting its response.

The government sent another letter to Facebook on June 6, seeking explanation of the issue of data sharing without explicit consent through its platform.

According to experts, India needs a robust data protection policy so that such incidents do not occur in the future. A firm legal framework for data protection will be the foundation on which data-driven innovation and entrepreneurship can flourish in India.

According to the white paper on Data Protection Framework for India, fostering such innovation and entrepreneurship is essential if India is to lead its citizens and the world into a digital future committed to empowerment, experiment and equal access.