India’s cabinet clears data protection bill for tabling in parliament

India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar speaks on his phone before an interview with Reuters inside his office in New Delhi, September 21, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved a data protection bill for tabling in parliament, taking the country a step closer to framing a privacy law.

“The protection of personal data is a very important subject globally,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told a news conference after the cabinet meeting.

“How that will be done (here) and how work will progress keeping India’s interest and people’s interest in mind, this is what this bill is about.”

The Personal Data Protection bill, drafted by a panel headed by a former Supreme Court judge and submitted to the government last year, is key for how firms including global tech giants Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and others process, store and transfer Indian consumers’ data.

It was not immediately clear whether the bill cleared by the cabinet had undergone any changes.

India’s banking regulator last year directed foreign firms such as MasterCard and Visa to store their payments data locally for “unfettered supervisory access”.

It later clarified that transactions made in India could be processed outside of the country but the related data should be brought back for local storage within 24 hours.



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