Last Updated on 01/03/2022 by Nidhi Khandelwal
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and other social media corporations have addressed the information and broadcasting ministry, expressing concerns that if the Data Protection Bill is passed in its current form, they will be subjected to duplicate rules.
According to sources, the I&B ministry has taken up their issue because it believes that including intermediaries in the draft Bill will lead to confusion over who would regulate them: the I&B, the Ministry of Electronics and IT, or a newly appointed regulator, the Data Protection Authority.
The topic has gained traction and is currently being addressed in the government, as the joint committee of Parliament (JCP) recently made recommendations on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, which included social media corporations, referred to as intermediaries, in its recommendations. Despite the fact that such businesses are already subject to the Information Technology Act and an additional set of laws that took effect on May 26, 2021, they are not exempt.
The JCP has proposed that all social media platforms that do not function as intermediaries be considered as publishers and held accountable for the content they contain. It has suggested that a method be established whereby social media platforms that do not function as intermediaries are held liable for anything posted by unverified accounts on their networks.
The Data Protection Authority, which would be a form of regulator under MeitY’s jurisdiction, would be in charge of such businesses.
This inclusion has been criticized by social media companies and the I&B ministry. According to them, the new intermediary rules, which were notified on February 25, 2021, and went into effect on May 26, 2021, are aimed at regulating all social media intermediaries, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and over-the-top platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as well as stand-alone digital media outlets.