New Delhi, July 28: The Srikrishna Committee on Friday submitted the draft of a data protection Bill to Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad. The Committee which was constituted by the union government in July last year, has reportedly recommended amendments to at least 50 laws including Aadhaar and RTI. The 213-page report has suggested steps for safeguarding personal information, defining obligations of data processors as also rights of individuals, and mooting penalties for violation. Also Read - Nude or Morphed Photos of Women on Social Media Must be Removed in 24 Hours, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad

The report assumes significance in the context of controversies over alleged leakage of biometric details of Aadhaar card holders and the ongoing Supreme Court hearing in the case related to data protection. The report has proposed penalties for violations, criminal proceedings, setting up of a data authority, provision of withdrawal of consent and concept of consent fatigue. Also Read - Fact Check: Will Social Media Accounts be Verified Through Phones in 3 Months? Know Truth Here

Union Minister Prasad while addressing a press conference said that the report submitted by the Justice Srikrishna Committee will be a milestone in the larger narrative of digital development.  “India proactively took a bold step on the issue of net neutrality and firmly upheld that right of internet access is not negotiable. Today’s report of the Justice Srikrishna Committee will be a milestone in the larger narrative of digital development. India’s data protection law should be a blend of security, safety, privacy and innovation and a model for the whole world,” the minister stated. Also Read - Guidelines Have Been Issued to Curb Misuse of Social Media Platforms, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad

“The Centre will take stakeholder comments along with taking cabinet approval before finalising the legislation. Being a very monumental law, the government will like to have the widest parliamentary consultation possible,” he added.

On the other hand, Justice  Srikrishna while speaking to reporters said that the draft bill has been prepared through an open process where the members of the committee consulted all stakeholders.

He also asserted that privacy has become “a burning issue” and therefore, every effort has to be made to protect data at any cost.