Draft Telecom Bill 2022 | India’s First Step Towards GDPR Like Policy?

The draft telecom bill 2022 is a welcome measure as it contains aspects of national security, cyber security, and revamping the age old policies.

With more than 1 billion subscribers, India is the world’s second largest telecom ecosystem. However, there is always lack of data privacy. In several instances, we may not be aware how an NBFC or an insurance service provider acquired our contact details for telemarketing purposes. On the other hand, various other businesses too are misusing our personal data to a larger extent.

Please refer to our previous blog on Does India need a GDPR type Regulation to Protect Citizen’s Data?

On that note, the draft telecom bill 2022 or the Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 is a welcome measure. While I may not be an expert to comment on the pros and cons, reading through the document, here are a few points I wish to highlight.

Revising the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885

Way back in the 19th century, sending telegram was the important mode of communication. In fact, today we all send an email communication is deemed official and emails can be called as the modern day telegraph. A dynamic industry like telecommunication is often subject to a transformation, and revised policy will help the industry grow exponentially. Moreover, retaining the policies set by the oppressors even today is nothing short of working with a slave mindset. Hence, revising the norms is the need of the hour.

Central Government to Control Everything

Members from some of the regulatory boards are raising flag since the draft bill came to review. Some of them are saying that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will become subservient to the government if this bill passes through. However, government of India is still revising these clauses and we can expect a better measure in the coming days.

Focus on National Security as well as Cyber Security

A clause in the draft bill mentions about a government officer having complete rights to raid any place if found suspicious. This way, a major disaster like 26/11 can be prevented in the first place. Also, the bill comes with a provisions to address cyber attacks. Moreover, these efforts are nothing but preventive measures to avoid one in the future.

The First Step Towards a GDPR like Policy?

Several policymakers are criticizing the bill as a vague measure. However, it is too early to criticize as the department of telecommunication is seeking comments from all stakeholders. But if implemented, each citizen will benefit out of this as their personal data is at the right hands. And the largest democracy in the world will actively protect the data of each and every citizen seamlessly.

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