As India inches towards adopting a comprehensive data protection framework, stakeholders feels it will herald a paradigm shift in that sphere. Experts in the IT industry and research bodies feel the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee report, submitted to the Centre on Friday, will go a long way in establishing a privacy protection mechanism.

“The report will be a key step towards building the important base of ‘trusted’ Digital India.

The proposed Digital Protection Authority (DPA) as an independent regulatory body will be beneficial in the enforcement of the data protection law,” said Vidur Gupta, Partner (Government and Public Sector) at EY India. “The recommendation for bringing public entities under the ambit of law would not only strengthen the confidence of citizens but also define specific safety measures for their personal data while using e-governance services.”

Shivangi Nadkarni, co-founder and CEO of Arrka Consulting, said the Bill puts the individual firmly in the driver’s seat.

Data principal

“Calling her (individual) the ‘data principal’, clearly stating that she is the owner of her data, giving her certain important rights, putting obligations on entities collecting her data to ensure her privacy, giving her channels to complain and levying stiff penalties on entities for non-compliance” is a critical step, Nadkarni said.

Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Country Manager - India, BSA, the Software Alliance, said the proposed Personal Data Protection Bill must avoid imposing undue restrictions on the ability to securely transfer personal data outside India.

“Our member companies are at the forefront of data-driven innovation and recognise the importance of fostering trust and confidence in the online environment. We support the effort to create a comprehensive legislation to protect the personal information of citizens,” he said. “However, including data localisation requirements in such legislation is contrary to the goals of promoting Digital India, as global data transfers are critical to cloud computing, data analytics, and other modern and emerging technologies and services that underpin global economic growth, he said.”

Prashant Gupta, Partner with Grant Thornton India, said the committee’s recommendations may have a significant impact on the functioning of businesses and government agencies such as UIDAI on the processing of personal data of individuals.

Data of foreign nationals

“Exemplary powers for the Centre on personal data of foreign nationals will also define future business growth for different sectors in the country. A paradigm shift will happen that will bolster India in the global economy as it promises privacy and protection of personal data,” he said.