The Digital India Act 2023 is a significant development in the Indian government’s efforts to accelerate the country’s digital transformation. The Act is a comprehensive framework that aims to promote and regulate the use of technology in various sectors, including e-governance, e-commerce, cybersecurity, and data protection.
The Digital India Act 2023 has been introduced as a bill in the Indian Parliament and is expected to bring about major changes in the way digital technology is used and regulated in India. In this blog, we will discuss the key provisions of the Digital India Act 2023 and their implications for various stakeholders. This blog will be particularly useful for UPSC aspirants who are looking to keep themselves updated on the latest developments in Indian governance and policy-making.
Digital India Act 2023
The Digital India Act, 2023 is a significant development in the Indian government’s efforts to enhance the country’s digital infrastructure and data protection policies. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology plans to introduce the new act, which will replace the outdated Information Technology Act of 2000. The IT Act has undergone several revisions and amendments over the years, but it fails to address the nuances of the current cybersecurity landscape and data privacy rights adequately.
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The Digital India Act is a comprehensive framework that aims to promote and regulate the use of technology in various sectors, including e-governance, e-commerce, cybersecurity, and data protection. It is designed to address the gaps left by the IT Act and enable a more robust and secure digital ecosystem in India. The act will work in conjunction with the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, of 2022, which aims to strengthen data protection policies.
The need for a new act stems from the growing sophistication and rate of cyber-attacks, which the IT Act fails to keep up with. The Digital India Act aims to act as a catalyst for the Indian economy by enabling more innovation and startups while ensuring the safety, trust, and accountability of citizens in the digital space. It will also establish an adjudicatory mechanism for criminal and civil offences committed online, which is a critical requirement in today’s digital age.
The Digital India Act’s likely provisions include constitutional protections for freedom of expression, regulations on AI and cybercrime, and the reevaluation of safe harbour principles for social media platforms. The act will also cover deep fakes, competition issues among internet platforms, and data protection.
The government has already put out a draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, which will be one of the four prongs of the Digital India Act, along with the National Data Governance Policy and amendments to the Indian Penal Code. Rules formulated under the Digital India Act will also play a crucial role in shaping India’s digital landscape.
Overall, the Digital India Act, of 2023, will play a significant role in India’s digital transformation and enhance the country’s digital infrastructure and data protection policies. It is a comprehensive framework that aims to promote innovation while ensuring the safety, trust, and accountability of citizens in the digital space.
Digital India Act 2023 UPSC
The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill is a proposed legislation in India that governs the processing of digital personal data both within and outside the country. This Bill applies to digital personal data that has been collected online or offline and then digitized. If such data is processed outside India, but it is used to offer goods or services or to profile individuals in India, it will also come under the ambit of this Bill.
The Bill mandates that personal data must be processed only for lawful purposes for which an individual has given consent, and in certain cases, consent may be deemed. It also imposes a responsibility on data fiduciaries to maintain data accuracy, data security, and to delete data once its purpose has been fulfilled. A “Data Fiduciary” is defined as any person who determines, either alone or in conjunction with others, the purpose and means of processing personal data.
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Under this Bill, individuals will be granted certain rights, including the right to access information, seek correction and erasure of their data, and seek grievance redressal. The central government may exempt government agencies from the application of provisions of the Bill in the interest of specified grounds such as the security of the state, public order, and prevention of offences.
To ensure compliance with the provisions of this Bill, the central government will establish the Data Protection Board of India, which will adjudicate non-compliance with the Bill’s provisions. This Bill aims to protect the privacy and security of digital personal data while also promoting innovation and growth in the digital economy of India.
Notes on the Digital India Act for UPSC Exam Preparation
The government is developing new regulations to address the challenges posed by emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT devices, cloud computing, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and the metaverse. The plan includes reclassifying online intermediaries into distinct categories, each with its own set of regulations, rather than one general label.
Additionally, the “safe harbour” immunity that protects online intermediaries from liability for content violations caused by third parties would be removed in cases of intentional misinformation. The government will also establish digital standards and laws to regulate AI and machine learning technology. To protect citizens’ privacy and safety, the government plans to criminalize cyberbullying, identity theft, and the unauthorized sharing of personal information without consent.
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