India’s lower house of parliament Monday approved a Bill that seeks to ease data storage, processing and transfer norms for Big Tech companies as well as local firms seeking growth abroad.
The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 that has been years in the making allows companies to export data to any country except those specified by New Delhi, a Bloomberg report stated yesterday.
The move is a boon for global enterprises such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc. as it eases data flows and reduces their compliance burdens.
A draft, released publicly in November, restricted the export of data to all regions except those named by the government.
“The current Bill pivots from a trusted jurisdiction, or country, approach to a softer negative list for cross-border data transfers, which is certainly a pro-business move,” said Anisha Chand, a Mumbai-based partner at Indian law firm Khaitan & Co., “We can be sure though that stricter sectoral laws will prevail.”
Roughly half of India’s 1.4 billion people use the internet, making the region a key growth market for global technology giants. India, like governments around the world, is trying to balance the needs of businesses with individuals’ rights to data privacy.
The proposed legislation, part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to revamp tech laws, comes as digitization thrives in the world’s most-populous nation, riding on a surge in the use of smartphones and mobile apps.
The Bill needs the approval of the Upper House of parliament, where Modi’s ruling coalition does not have a majority.