India's much-awaited data privacy law has been given the green light by the parliamentary standing committee on communications and information technology. The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, that aims to uphold Indian citizens' basic right to privacy, will be tabled in Parliament during the ongoing budget session. Union Minister for Communications and IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw shared the news at the National Association of Software and Service Companies' Technology and Leadership Forum 2023. Background: Previous Versions of the Data Privacy Law This is the third version of the data privacy law in India. In August 2019, the government had introduced the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019, in Parliament. However, following the 81 amendments and 12 recommendations made by a joint parliamentary committee to a Bill of 99 sections, the government withdrew the Bill in August 2021. The revised version, the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, was released in November 2022, and it has been received positively by the parliamentary standing committee. Key Provisions of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, aims to safeguard the privacy of Indian citizens by protecting their personal data. It outlines measures that data fiduciaries must take to prevent personal data breaches, failure of which can lead to penalties up to Rs 250 crore. The bill also mandates that fiduciaries must obtain clear and informed consent from users before collecting their personal data. Additionally, the bill incorporates modern concepts such as the consent manager, which empowers citizens to manage their consent effectively. additionally, the Bill addresses cross-border data flows and provides a framework for consultation with government departments, sectoral regulators, and public consultations to provide a clear, proportionate, and enabling framework. Industry Response to the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 The National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and various industry groups have expressed their approval of the most recent version of the DPDP Bill for its relaxed provisions. NASSCOM stated that they believe a framework should be created through collaboration with government departments, sectoral regulators, and public consultations, which would offer a clear, proportionate, and facilitating framework for cross-border data flows. Additionally, the industry welcomed the inclusion of progressive concepts such as the consent manager, which would empower citizens to effectively manage their consent. DPDP Bill, 2022: The Way Forward The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, is a significant step towards protecting personal data and ensuring the privacy of Indian citizens. The parliamentary standing committee's approval of the Bill is a promising sign that the Bill will pass through Parliament without significant opposition. Once enacted, the Bill will provide much-needed clarity and structure to India's data privacy landscape. The Union Minister Vaishnaw highlighted the government's dedication to foster public-private partnerships and its objective of implementing regulations that align with the country's goals while being minimally restrictive. He emphasized that the Prime Minister's aim is to ensure consistent growth through sensible and pragmatic regulations. Conclusion The DPDP Bill, 2022, represents a positive step forward for India's data privacy landscape. The Bill's provisions are designed to protect personal data and ensure the privacy of Indian citizens. The Bill's introduction is timely, as the importance of data privacy and cybersecurity has only grown in recent years. With the parliamentary standing committee's thumbs up, the Bill is one step closer to becoming law and providing the necessary structure and clarity to India's data privacy landscape. Also Read:The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022: An OverviewWhat is the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and How It can affect a Business?