Photo of Sabreen Hussain

Associate in the General Corporate Practice (Technology and Telecommunications) at the Bengaluru office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. She can be reached at sabreen.hussain@cyrilshroff.com.

Children and consent under the
Data Protection Act: A Study in Evolution

The Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023[1] (“Act”) has, at long last, been past before both houses of Parliament and been published in the official Gazette upon receiving Presidential assent.

The Act is intended to provide legislative expression to the contours of the right to privacy as outlined by the Supreme Court of India in the Puttaswamy Judgements[2] and since then, by other constitutional Courts. The principle, which now stands more or less crystallized, is that the autonomy of a person is inalienably linked to their autonomy over their personal data. Therefore, in a regime which continues to be firmly consent based, the questions of who is a child, who can consent to allowing their personal data to be collected, as well as what can and cannot be done with it, are key to their status as ‘Digital Nagariks’ in years to come.

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Of Consent and Lawful Uses:
Where the Rubber meets the Road

While the concept of consent, in consonance with the current consent based regime under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“IT Act”)[1] as well as the constitutional primacy of consent and autonomy under various court decisions dealing with the right to information privacy has remained firmly entrenched as the primary basis for collection and processing of personal data under the various drafts of general personal data protection legislation in India over the years,[2] the newly notified Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 (“Act”)[3]also provides for “legitimate use” as key additional basis available to Data Fiduciaries[4] for collection and processing of personal data[5].

Continue Reading Of Consent and Lawful Uses:Where the Rubber meets the Road

A Fine Balance:
The DPDA and Data Localization

On November 18, 2022, when the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MEITY”) tabled an entirely new draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 (“Draft”)[1], the concerns around one section, namely Section 17 dealing with cross-border data transfers, were perhaps more pronounced than the shock which accompanied the withdrawal of a long debated previous draft.

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Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 (“Bill”)[1] tabled before Parliament on August 3, 2023 is the culmination of a decade long process for evolving general data protection regime for India.

By withdrawing an elaborate, prescriptive draft which was under consideration by Parliament until 2021, to introducing a new, lean, principles based draft for consultation on November 18, 2022 (“Draft”),[2] and then engaging an extensive consultation process which reportedly involved in excess of 20,000 submissions,[3] and several dozen discussions involving personal participation at the highest levels of the Ministry, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has set the stage for the evolution and adoption of a customized and Indian legislation that seeks to find a balance between enabling ease of doing business, and protecting sovereign imperatives and citizens’ rights, which has proved elusive globally.[4]

Continue Reading The DPDP Bill Overview: A New Dawn for Data Protection in India