The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, will affect all online businesses, including this platform we are on. The Bill is currently the anchor of the data governance system envisaged by the Government of India. This system will not only regulate personal data, but also potentially non-personal data, with effects seen in the traditional realm of competition law as well.
While ensuring data privacy and protection, the Bill also seeks to balance the incentives and compliance burden faced by innovators and commercial entities in the digital space. As the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Bill is yet to finalise its report, we will scrutinise the Bill and explore its various facets in this discussion series.
The Panel Discussion today will take a deep dive into the powers and functions of the Data Protection Authority (DPA). The DPA is the apex oversight body envisaged in the Bill, with various wide and discretionary powers to expand definitions of different categories of personal data and administer other aspects of the Bill, once enacted. In this panel, we will discuss issues related to the scope of powers of the DPA, its functional and financial autonomy, and the likely impact. We will then explore certain comprehensive checks and balances to the powers of the DPA, which may allay concerns raised by the technology sector in India.