New Digital India Act on the Horizon

India has struggled to balance digital protection and rights in this ever-changing landscape of big data and tech. After much discussion and debate, the government withdrew the Data Protection and Privacy Bill 2019 and now plans to introduce the Digital India Act (DIA) in the Winter Session of Parliament this year. This Act will replace the decades-old Information Technology Act 2000.

The DIA intends to cover a larger spectrum of the digital technology ecosystem with special protection clauses around children’s and women’s safety. The main objective of the legislation is to establish a comprehensive central framework that would address issues surrounding data protection, regulation of intermediaries, and digital crimes.

The country’s esports industry, which has been plagued with concerns over data privacy, cyber-crimes and compliance, can expect stability and relief with respect to such issues. It will also burden big tech firms like Twitter, Facebook, and the metaverse to comply with digital criminal matters. OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon will also be heavily regulated for their content, misinformation and incitement of violence.

A uniform central law for the online skill gaming industry under the entry “Posts and telegraphs; telephones, wireless, broadcasting and other like forms of communication” and “Inter-State Trade and Commerce” also looks like a possibility under the Act. With over 300 million gamers in India, this may provide more clarity and security.