New data law, a barrier to journalistic free speech

Syllabus: GS- II, Subject: Polity, Topic: Legal Issues, Issue: Bills/Acts/Rules

Context: Removal of ‘journalistic exemption’ In Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act, 2023,

Key concern due to removal of ‘journalistic exemption”:

  • DPDP Act require journalists to obtain consent before using personal data for stories.
  • This includes details like meetings held, travel records and family investments etc.
  • The Act also allows MPs to request deletion of such stories even after publication.
  • Government can demand information from data processors, potentially jeopardizing journalists’ confidentiality with sources. in short crisp sentences

The way ahead:

  • Lack of transparency in law formulation calls for robust public consultation processes.
  • DPDP Act allows government to exempt data processors from its provisions.
  • can use this power to exempt journalistic entities, preserving free speech.
  • Journalistic exemption should be a part of core law text for clarity and stability.
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