New Delhi: The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Personal Data Protection (PDP), headed by BJP’s P P Chaudhary has advocated a regulatory system on the lines of the Press Council of India (PCI) for social media platforms, saying there should be a statutory media regulatory authority to regulate content of such media irrespective of where their content is published — online, print or otherwise.
The draft report adopted on Monday, also, importantly, calls on SM platforms to verify users once users complete verification procedures.
“SM platforms, which do not act as intermediaries, should be treated as publishers and be held accountable for the content they host. A mechanism may be devised (where such platforms) will be held responsible for content from unverified accounts on their platforms. Once application for verification is submitted with necessary documents, the social media intermediaries must mandatorily verify the account,” the report states.
The panel also said that though social media (SM) platforms were designated as intermediaries under the IT Act, the law failed to regulate the SM platforms adequately, having failed to keep pace with the changing SM ecosystem. The PDP Bill has similarly general provisions regarding SM platforms and intermediaries, the panel said, relaying its “strong view” that designated intermediaries may be working as publishers of content.
Sharing his perspective on Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 that is likely to be tabled in the upcoming winter session of Parliament, Nanjunda Prasad Ramesh, CEO, Multi-Verse Technologies said, “This is undoubtedly a major step forward in ensuring every Indian’s personal data is protected. It has been long overdue and brings in the much needed accountability when dealing with the data of people. While this is a good first step, we must not stop here. The law must safeguard the interests of the people against indiscriminate use of data by any enterprise, be it private or Government. The next step is to clearly limit the exemptions that are currently being provided. This ensures that we move ahead to protect the interests of citizens on priority rather than pushing the law by only focusing the loopholes in the current draft. We need to roll this out, make corrections and keep moving. I personally believe in the right to privacy and I am glad to be a part of this movement.”