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IT Act 20 years old, need new digital law

Electronics and IT junior minister Rajiv Chandrasekhar on Wednesday said India needs a new digital law because the current law, the IT law, is 20 years old. “We need a law for the internet. In order for it to be flexible and evolutionary, it is important to have the right legislation in place,” he said at the 30th edition of the NASSCOM Technology and Leadership Forum, which was held on Wednesday.

Technology has changed significantly and the advent of social media has created new challenges, prompting the government to call for a new law. While governments often face challenges in controlling new features, such as artificial intelligence and algorithms, some pieces of correction and small additions that the law seeks to catch up with advanced technology are seen as insufficient to solve problems.

Chandrasekhar said the proposed data protection law addresses citizens’ right to privacy issues and makes rules for all intermediaries. He said it was important to discuss information security. “But we want to make sure that the speed of our startup ecosystem is not blunted by even 1% if the system of governance indicates high levels of compliance costs and compliance bureaucracy,” he said.

Justice BN Srikrishna, one of the architects of the Personal Data Protection Bill, noted that the government should have differentiated between personal and non-personal data.
Chandrasekhar, however, said that Prime Minister Modi has advised the ministry to consult as much as possible and the bill is being sent to the ministry. “I think we will continue this conversation for a while. I don’t want to rush into anything and then go back with more corrections. We need to get a signal from the world that India’s cyberspace is secure, trustworthy, open and accountable, and most importantly, very predictable in terms of the jurisprudence around it.”

He said India is the largest connected market in the world. “And if you want to include China, we are still the largest market and one of the largest united democracies in the world. We have a lot to teach the world about how we manage digitization, digital adoption, inclusion and accessibility for all, as well as ensuring that the Internet is secure, reliable, open and accountable,” he said. Ub24News

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