India Nixes Big Tech Bill

India’s government on Wednesday withdrew a data protection and privacy bill which was first proposed in 2019 and had alarmed big technology companies such as Facebook and Google, reported Reuters.

The 2019 law had proposed stringent regulations on cross-border data flows and proposed giving the Indian government powers to seek user data from companies, seen as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stricter regulation of tech giants.

A government notice said the decision came as a parliamentary panel’s review of the 2019 bill suggested many amendments, leading to the need for a new “comprehensive legal framework”. The government will now “present a new bill”, the notice added.

IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told Reuters the government has started drafting the new bill, “which is in good advanced stages”, with a public release “very close”.

The government aims to get the new bill approved and made into law by early 2023 in the parliament’s budget session which typically runs January-February, he said.

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