India to Strengthen Tech Privacy Laws and Penalties.
India plans to pass another major series of data protection laws this month, which will place draconian restrictions on how companies collect and use data and personal information for the over one billion people that make up India’s current population. This legislation is to be debated next week more than a year after it was first introduced. The delay, some experts feel, is due to heavy influence from Silicon Valley lobbyists. It should be noted that under India’s parliamentary system of legislation, lobbyists are not required to be registered as company agents, nor are members of parliament required to list gifts and free meals received from others. The new laws will be patterned somewhat after the privacy laws of the European Union, but will go much farther in fines and penalties, including real jail time, for any breaches, intentional or otherwise, by social media giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. In that respect, the legislation is following closely in the footsteps of China, where Beijing is determined that the government will gather all the information on everyone in the country, and not allow any outside sources to have the same kind of access or ability to mine for more than surface data.
If approved, the new laws could go into effect by the end of January, 2020.