Govt to refresh IT Act, but initial focus on PDP Bill: IT Secretary

The government plans to refresh the Information Technology Act to address the requirements of new technologies and developments in the industry, a top government official said on Friday.
IT (Meity) Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney
IT (Meity) Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney

New Delhi

Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney, however said the government's immediate focus is on putting in place the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill. 
"There is also requirement to refresh IT Act itself. The IT Act came in 2000 and was last amended in 2008," the Secretary said at an industry event. 
Sawhney said there is a need to review the IT Act because issues at present have changed significantly. 
He said the new IT rules for social media platforms have strengthened the rights of users. 
"The companies that we deal with have grown immensely. Completely new segments of operations have taken shape and globally there is huge amount of innovation happening in this space. 
"Laws are coming up in different parts of the world. We have to strengthen our cyber security and our adjudication and many other things. The next thing will be to come up with legal framework which addresses these new developments. That is something which will also be on the anvil but right now we will focus on personal data privacy bill and non-personal (data protection) policy," he said. 
The Joint Committee of Parliament examining the PDP Bill was given fourth extension in the Budget Session to table the bill in Monsoon Session of Parliament. 
Sawhney said non-personal data protection bill is also in the works that promote innovation and growth around data processing. 
"The next big thing for us is PDP Bill. We are hoping to take it through at the earliest. Hopefully, in the next session, if we are able to get the report from that group, then we shall be pushing for early processing in Parliament," he said. 

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