The government will revamp the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.
The rejig will include new provisions – including ones to check rising cybercrime and frauds in digital payment – that reflect changes in technology adoption in the country over the last 20 years.
When the Act was first drafted, platforms such as the Unified Payments Interface or the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) did not exist
Mobile phones and social media were also not very popular, Prasad said. An expert committee will be constituted to suggest a new framework, he said, adding that inputs will be sought from the industry and experts.
“A thinking is going on in the department to revisit the IT Act… it has been in place for the last 20 years and the IT ecosystem has developed beyond recognition (in that time),” said Prasad.
“…technology has overtaken, new technology has become very pronounced, the whole ecosystem of consumers has changed vastly, and so are the challenges,” he added. The revamped Act will factor in the Supreme Court judgment on privacy and will check issues of cybercrime.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) is currently finalising a couple of laws, including the Personal Data Protection Bill, which has been tabled in Parliament and is before a joint parliamentary committee.
MeitY is also close to notifying the revised IT Intermediary Guidelines, which make social media companies more responsible for content on their platforms. Separately, a National Cyber Security Strategy 2020, that seeks to create a secure cyberspace in the country, is expected to be sent to the Cabinet soon, according to National Cyber Security Coordinator Rajesh Pant. Prasad said that, while the PDP Bill will purely govern data, the IT Act will cover the entire information technology administration and operations, along with cybersecurity.
“The biggest challenge right now is the number of people you have to handle. Secondly, technology is at the centre of digital payment, digital delivery of services, GST, UPI, etc… now this will also raise the question of misuse. The vastness of these platforms was not even contemplated when the IT Act came into being,” said Prasad.
NADELLA MEETS PRASAD
Earlier in the day, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, held a meeting with Prasad where the discussions ranged on data sovereignty, India’s digital India programme and the India stack. During the discussion, Nadella said that India’s new data laws should benefit local businesses, a government official told ET.
Source : Times of India