Google Sits on the Table with the Govt on Data Protection Bill

Google has asked the GoI to re-look at provisions to facilitate cross-border data transfer
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Google recently met with government officials at the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India to discuss their feedback on the draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (DPDPB) 2022. Google’s representative included its India Public Policy team, along with Mr Michael Rose, Head of Data Governance Policy, APAC.

Currently, the Government of India is in talks with multiple stakeholders and is taking their feedback into account about the DPDP Bill. 

Google, along with other big tech firms, sought more clarity on the definition of a child under the DPDP Bill. They want a child to be defined as someone under the age of 13. Currently, the draft defines a child as someone under the age of 18. The draft forbids companies to track or monitor behaviours of children and not target advertisements at them.

Further, Google has also asked the GoI to re-look at provisions to facilitate cross-border data transfer. The requests were made by the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), which Google is a member of. 

Previously, the GoI scrapped the draft Data Protection Bill 2019 because it was heavily opposed by big tech firms due to stringent data localisation laws and authority to the government to seek customer data from them. However, the new draft of the bill, released by the GoI last year, is seen as more big tech-friendly. The new draft eases the free movement of data to trusted geographies which provides huge relief to foreign businesses operating in India.

The Indian market is important for big tech, and it generates significant revenue from them. Big Tech CEOs are also flying thick and fast to India. Within a span of two months, leaders of two giant tech corporations, namely Sundar Pichai of Google and Satya Nadella of Microsoft, were granted an audience with India PM Narendra Modi. 

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw earlier revealed that the bill would be tabled in the Parliament for passing by July-August this year.

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