With social media gaining prominence, the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT has made amendments to Information Technology (IT) Act 2000, which is likely to be introduced in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
A Cabinet note has been readied by the ministry. The note has already received a legal vetting from the law ministry, a senior government official told DNA Money. The Cabinet note is expected to come up for approval next week.
The Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2018, has already been listed in one of the upcoming Bills for consideration in the winter session.
The IT Act was last amended in 2008 and it’s been a decade since then. Technology has changed rapidly and with government’s thrust on digital India, cyber safety and data protection, there was a dire need of changes in the Act, the official said.
The current IT Act is a thoroughly outdated legislation. The last amendments were done in 2008, that were too less changes and all issues were not addressed. The amendments may include a framework for strengthening of cyber security standards.
Though the plans of introducing the data protection Bill in this session have been postponed.
The ministry had as many as 650 responses so far to the draft version of the data protection Bill submitted by Justice BN Srikrishna Committee in July this year. The Srikrishna committee had recommended storing one copy of all personal data in India, while critical information can be stored only locally.
However, the definition of ‘critical personal data’ has been left for the government to decide. It was open for public comments, but the inter-ministerial consultations are yet to be completed. The draft Bill had suggested measures for safeguarding personal information, defines obligations of data processors as also rights of individuals, and proposes penalties for violation.
Minister for IT and Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier said digital medium has to be safe and secure to ensure equitable spread of benefits. India’s digital inclusion initiative is already being acknowledged globally. In less than five years, the government has made 307 government services available on the Umang platform and efforts are on to bring all central and state services on it.