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4) Discuss the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018. Also examine how the provisions of the draft bill will affect press freedom.(250 words)

TOPIC: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance-
applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency &
accountability and institutional and other measures.

4) Discuss the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018. Also examine how the provisions of the draft bill will affect press freedom.(250 words)


Indian express

Why this question

With the growth of the digital economy and increasing concerns for privacy, data protection measures are much needed. The draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018  has been recently submitted in this regard. However, the draft bill raises several other questions affecting press freedom. It is essential to discuss the bill and its effect on press freedom.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the salient provisions of the draft bill. It also wants us to look deeper and examine how the bill will affect press freedom in the country.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about growing digitization of human life and the pressing concerns of data privacy. Also mention that the draft  Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 has been recently submitted by the Justice BN Srikrishna committee etc.


  • Discuss the salient provisions of the bill. E.g The report straddles three aspects – citizens, the state and the industry; it notes that “the right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is necessary to protect personal data as an essential facet of informational privacy;  it calls for protecting the autonomy of individuals in relation with their personal data, to specify where the flow and usage of personal data is appropriate, to create a relationship of trust between persons and entities processing their personal data etc.
  • Discuss how the bill is supposed to affect the press freedom. E.g According to section 27 of the Bill, a data principal has a right to prevent data processor or data fiduciary from using such data that has served its purpose for which it was made or which is no longer necessary, or for which consent given earlier has been withdrawn, or if it is contrary to any law; Section 27(2) states that the adjudicating officer can decide on the question of disclosure when he thinks that such disclosure will override the freedom of speech and the right to information of a citizen. In determining this, the adjudicating officer has to consider five factors listed in sub-section (3);  the freedom to criticise public personalities for their public policies based on their past statements and activities will be in jeopardy, and a journalist has to wait for the decision of the adjudicating officer to get permission for writing about it. A citizen seeking access to such information will be confused about whether to approach the Central Information Commission or the Data Protection Authority (DPA). Adjudicating officers are subordinate to members of the DPA etc.

conclusion- sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.