Recently, the Government of India has withdrawn the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 from Parliament. The Bill had gone through multiple iterations and was reviewed by the Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP). The JCP proposed 81 amendments and 21 recommendations to the Bill. Considering the report of JCP, the Government of India has withdrawn the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019. Soon, the Government will present a new Bill that fits into a comprehensive legal framework. Microsoft’s President and Vice Chairman, Brad Smith said this move of the Indian Government is “an act of wisdom.”
India’s Data Bill rethink act of wisdom: Microsoft’s Brad Smith
“India’s Personal Data Protection Bill is an act of wisdom,” said Brad Smith, the president and vice chairman of Microsoft. On his visit to the country last week, he applauded the step taken by the Indian Government to pause the Data Protection Bill and said:
That notion, that a government would pause to think about how a privacy law should move with a better connection to other fields — that’s an act of wisdom.
The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 had been in the works for almost 5 years. Have a look at the journey of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019:
- The Justice Srikrishna panel was set up in 2017 in the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s verdict holding privacy is a fundamental right. Under the Srikrishna Committee, a white paper was released outlining the areas of the Data Protection Framework.
- The committee submitted the Data Protection Bill draft to the Ministry of Electronics and IT in 2018.
- The Bill was referred to JCP for analysis in December 2019.
- JCP tabled its report in Parliament in December 2021. Justice Srikrishna said that the Bill was in the favor of the Government and could turn India into an Orwellian state.
India has become a software superpower, says Brad Smith
India, he added, has also taken an “extraordinary” leap digitally in the global economy and made about five years of progress over the last two years. India, Smith pointed out, has for long been one of the major sources of talent in software and a great creator of software Intellectual Property but is now joining the ranks of the top 2-3 software economies in the world.
“India has become a software superpower,” he said, adding that a significant part of it is the India Data stack, which is an “unparalleled accomplishment” in the world. What makes it unique is that India has managed to create an identity layer for its people.
Smith said that India has been one of the major sources of expertise in software and a great creator of software Intellectual Property for a long time and now, it is becoming one of the 2 – 3 highest software economies in the world. He added:
I think India is now well positioned to become one of the great data capitals of the world and really double down on the status. Those are the only two places right now—Delhi and London—where governments have said, “no”, we have to connect the dots between the different things that we’re doing. I think this government gets huge credit on this.
Smith also spoke on Metaverse and said that it will be important but it is perhaps a name that does a disservice to the world.