Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Thursday held the first-ever consultation on the proposed Digital India Act and discussed rules to handle data captured by invasive gadgets like spy glasses and wearable devices.
The draft of the Digital India Act will be firmed up after two more rounds of discussion with stakeholders, the minister told PTI in a virtual interview after the first consultation in Bengaluru.
He said that the draft is likely to be issued in April and it will be followed up with more rounds of public consultation for about 45-60 days before being placed in the Parliament for final approval.
“We have undertaken for the first time ever consultation around the principal architectural design of legislation. The outcome of this consultation will be a draft. The draft in turn will be consulted extensively for a period that will be not less than 45 to 60 days,” Mr Chandrasekhar said.
Based on the timelines for consultation, the draft bill is likely to be ready to be placed before Parliament in July.
The minister during the consultation said that he expects the legislation to be in place this year.
Mr Chandrasekhar said that the legislation has to be in place for the next 10 years to catalyse the innovation ecosystem, protect consumers, be future-proof and future-ready.
“At a time when technology is disrupting so rapidly. There is AI (Artificial Intelligence). There is AI compute, blockchain, there are all types of big disruptive changes underway. That is a time that this legislation has been brought. So this legislation has to be future-ready and it has to be future-proof,” Mr Chandrasekhar said.
The minister during the consultation discussed the way law should deal with invasive devices.
As part of online safety and trust principle proposed for the Digital India Act (DIA), the minister sought views of stakeholder on mandating stringent regulation for privacy invasive devices such as spy camera glasses and wearable tech before their entry into market with strict KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements for retail sales with appropriate criminal law sanctions.
“I have put down many points. What should be the law’s response to invasive devices like these camera eyeglasses? When somebody with a camera item walks into a room and starts filming you, how should the law deal with that,” Mr Chandrasekhar asked.
The minister said that the internet at present is more complex than it was five years ago.
“The complexity comes from the proliferation of new platforms, new devices, and now with 5G, 6G and with IoT, the complexity of the internet is 100-fold more from what it was just five years ago. So the DIA has to deal with that. Detailed answers will come in the draft,” he said.
The Digital India Act will replace IT Act, 2000.
The minister said that initial discussions are being held to discuss broad consensus on the principles that are required for Digital India Act.
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