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IT Minister: Data Protection Bill Requires Consent Prior to Collecting Personal Data

Union IT and electronics minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar expressed the objective of the forthcoming Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, stating that it aims to safeguard individuals’ right to protect their personal data. In an interview with PTI, he highlighted the bill’s provisions for processing personal data lawfully and for other legitimate purposes.

Chandrasekhar further emphasized that the bill will bring about substantial behavioral changes among Indian platforms that have previously exploited or misused personal data. He addressed concerns regarding the government-appointed fact-check body, clarifying that its purpose is not censorship but rather an opportunity for the government to counter misinformation related to it, an essential aspect in a democratic society.

He emphasized the distinction between misinformation and the right to free speech, noting that false information spreads at a much faster rate and reaches a larger audience compared to the truth. In this context, he emphasized the government’s role in refuting falsehoods that aim to incite hatred, violence, or mistrust.

Chandrasekhar affirmed that the bill does not impose censorship or restrict free speech. Instead, it focuses on identifying and refuting blatantly false claims. He stressed the importance of understanding that this initiative is not intended to be mischaracterized as an infringement on free speech.

Addressing concerns about the government’s authority in flagging false information online, the minister clarified that there is a misunderstanding regarding the government’s intentions and objectives with the bill.


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