Protection of personal data in India – AMU hosted Prof. Indranath Gupta from the Jindal Global Law School

27 January 2023

“European standards on data protection do influence law making in India” – argued Prof. (Dr.) Indranath Gupta during his guest lecture on 10th January. While India is working on their major piece of legislation on the data protection, students and researchers from AMU Faculty of Law and Administration had a unique chance to become familiar with major provisions of the draft.  

In the lecture titled “European Standards on data protection from the global perspective: Recent Trends in India” Prof. Gupta presented basic concepts underlying draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill in India. Observations of the scholar were accompanied by references to the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. Various similarities between the acts were identified, such as those in terms of design of grounds of lawful processing of one’s personal data. However, upon closer look it became clear that Indian proposal goes often its own way – both in terms of terminology and architecture of particular legal mechanisms.  

For European students and scholars, it was inspiring to learn about particularities of the bill. For example, Indian draft is based on the assumption that relationship between Data Fiduciary (GDRP: data controller) and the Data Principal (GDPR: data subject) is as a relationship of trust, which is clearly notable in the terms purposely used in the Indian proposal. As for the categorization of data, the bill – at this stage of elaboration – does not differentiate between “normal” personal data and “sensitive” data, which poses questions as to the risks related to processing of health and biometric data. Also, in terms of the scope, Prof. Gupta noted that this bill addresses only digital personal data, i.e., data that is in digital form or that could be put into digital form.  

“Such lectures help us realize that in the globalized world we face similar challenges in terms of data protection”, points out prof. Katarzyna Klafkowska-Waśniowska, Jean Monnet Chair holder at the AMU Faculty of Law and Administration. “Learning from Indian experience adds not only to the discussion on the existing legal mechanisms in India and Europe, but leads also to some fundamental questions – about the object of data legislation, categorization of data and relationships between entities involved in data processing”, explains prof. Klafkowska-Waśniowska. 

The lecture of Prof. (Dr.) Indranath Gupta was part of the collaboration between the Jean Monnet Chair Multi-dimensional Approaches to the Understanding of the E.U. Data Protection Framework of Jindal Global Law School, and our Faculty’s Jean Monnet Chair Digital Single Market and the Free Flow of Information. The event was dedicated to the IIIrd year European Legal Studies students, as part of the winter “Focus on European Union” module.