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The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 – Towards a progressive data protection regime

Partners: Rahul Matthan, Nikhil Narendran and Jyotsna Jayaram, Counsels: Thomas J. Vallianeth and Karishma Sundara

On 9 August 2023, the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 (Bill) was passed by the Upper House of Parliament. The Bill had been passed by the Lower House of Parliament on 7 August 2023, and all that remains for it to become law is the receipt of Presidential assent.

Once enacted, it will replace the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011 (Privacy Rules) and become the definitive privacy law in the country. Unlike the Privacy Rules, which focused on protecting sensitive personal data or information (SPDI), the new law will establish a comprehensive framework to govern the processing of personal data.

The Bill has not specified a transitional period, although the central government has been granted the discretion to notify the commencement of different provisions of the Bill at different times.

Once the law comes into force, businesses that process personal data will have to revisit their data processing practices and policies. Non-compliance will be subject to substantial penalties, with the amount of penalty for conjoint contraventions remaining uncapped.

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