What is the New Digital India Act 2023?
The Union government formally unveiled the proposed legislation – the new Digital India Act 2023. The law, the Union government’s plan to replace the Information Technology Act 2000, will focus on online safety and user trust. This newly proposed IT Act in India will address aspects such as AI, deep fakes, cyber crime security, competition issues among internet platforms and data protection. Digital India Act 2023 will be key to achieving India’s vision of becoming a global powerhouse of the digital economy.
Electronics and IT Ministry said the Digital India Act would relook at the safe harbour concept. This is the principle that so-called ‘intermediaries’ on the internet, such as social media platforms, are not responsible for what third parties post on their websites because they have no control over it. This has led to a lack of moderation and fact-checking on these platforms, which enables malicious content to remain undetected.
The Need for New IT Legislation in India
The proposed Digital India Act 2023 is a new legislation that seeks to revamp the decades-old Information Technology Act 2000. It’s one of the vital and groundbreaking initiatives by the Government to enhance digitalization in India. It will address a wide range of issues such as Artificial Intelligence, Deep Fakes, cybercrime, competition issues among internet platforms and data protection policies. It is focused on helping in preventing cyber harassment against women and children.
The Act will also look to safeguard innovation to enable emerging technologies like AI/ML, web3, autonomous systems/robotics, IoT/distributed ledger/blockchain, quantum computing and virtual reality/augmented reality. It will establish an adjudicatory mechanism for online and criminal offences, deliver timely remedies to citizens, resolve cyber disputes, develop a unified cyber jurisprudence, and provide cyber crime security in India. Want to stay updated with the latest information about the Digital India Act? Get in touch with our techno-legal advisors at Cyberra Legal Services now!
This new law will also revisit the accountability of grievance offers assigned by online platforms to deal with user issues. This issue has been a cause of concern for users and is also being debated by various industry stakeholders. The new Digital India Act will be more comprehensive, well-defined, and focused on dealing with user harm. It will be a comprehensive framework that will promote innovation and ensure citizens’ safety, trust and accountability in the digital space.
Top 5 Highlights of the New Digital India Act 2023:
1. Regulatory Framework
The proposed Digital India Act 2023 aims to replace the decades-old Information Technology Act 2000 and to create a regulatory framework for the digital India platform that will enable innovation while protecting citizens regarding safety, trust and accountability. It aims to promote choice, competition and diversity online and encourage fair trade practices for dominant market players.
The new law also aims to regulate the emergence of artificial intelligence, cybercrime, and deep fakes to prevent these from causing harm to users. It will address user safety from cyberbullying and doxing (revealing private information), online fin-tech business regulations, the regulation of fake news, checks on artificial intelligence and dispute resolution mechanisms.
While these measures are important, they must be carefully crafted to ensure that they do not undermine the essential information about digital India and individual rights or negatively impact the growth of the digital economy. Additionally, the new legislation must harmonize with existing and future sectoral regulations.
2. Data Protection/Privacy
Data protection is one of the most important and complex issues facing the digital world. The proposed Digital India Act 2023 aims to safeguard citizens from various threats and ensure transparency and accountability in the online space. It focuses on the constitutional protections for freedom of expression, regulations on AI and cybercrime, and the fight against deep fakes.
The law will also seek to appoint a regulator similar to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that will deal with various aspects related to online civil and criminal offences. It will be able to provide timely remedies for citizens, resolve cyber disputes, develop a unified cyber jurisprudence and enforce the rule of law online.
Digitalization in India demands sufficiently stronger regulations to safeguard users’ data. In addition, the proposed DIA will also introduce the concept of ‘data localization’, which means that personal data should be collected, stored and processed in the country where it is to be used. However, cross-border transfers of personal data will be allowed as an exception through ‘corridors of trust’.
The proposed Digital India Act 2023 will strengthen cyber crime security in India.
And its data protection policies. It is expected to replace the Information Technology Act 2000, criticized for its outdated and insufficient policies. It will regulate various aspects of the digital space, including social media platforms, e-commerce companies, telecom providers and OTT platforms.
Additionally, it is important to introduce stricter measures for protecting minors from addictive technology and harmful content, the right to be forgotten, regulations for moderating fake news on social media platforms, and age-gating. It will also set up regulatory frameworks for artificial intelligence systems and wearable technology.
The new IT Act India will also prevent market power concentration and gatekeeping by big tech companies, thereby ensuring choice and competition in the digital space. These measures are expected to improve the trustworthiness of the digital space and safeguard citizen interests while enabling the growth of the digital economy in India. To learn more about the new IT Act India, contact Cyberra Legal Services!
The new law addresses the complexities of cybersecurity and data privacy rights. In addition, it seeks to safeguard the safety of Indian citizens online. To combat the ever-growing cyber threats, the GOI is also updating the cyber law course in India by offering several online and offline educational activities, workshops, and seminars.
While the proposed Digital India Act 2023 is promising, it should be implemented with a strong privacy law. Minister for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar says the proposed Act will help safeguard users’ online privacy. However, he also wants to get a wider perspective from key stakeholders on how it should deal with invasive devices that may be used for surveillance.
The Digital India Act is expected to establish a specialized and dedicated adjudicatory mechanism for addressing civil and criminal offences committed online. It will also impose enhanced penalties on cybercrime against privacy. The proposed law is expected to be principles-based and provide a foundation to develop rules in the future.
The Digital India Act 2023 aims to ensure an open Internet characterized by choice, competition and fair market access. It will be designed to address all the vital concerns of the digital India platform effectively. In addition, it will regulate dominant advertising technology platforms and app stores.
To curb the abuse of dominance by big Internet companies, the Digital India Bill will include rules that hold tech giants accountable for their algorithms and content violations. It will also require them to undergo periodic risk assessments and adhere to algorithmic transparency, among other requirements. The legislation will also address anti-competitive agreements, the concentration of market power and gatekeeping.
The new IT Act India will be drafted to prevent market power concentration and gatekeeping by big tech companies. The new law will also introduce a specialized dispute resolution/adjudication framework to deal with disputes relating to online civil and criminal offences. This would be an easily accessible adjudicatory mechanism that can deliver timely remedies to citizens and resolve cyber conflicts.
What is Digital India?
Digitalization is the process of utilizing computer technology to transform society, businesses, and the economy. It is a powerful tool that can improve economic efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness while creating new business opportunities. Digitalization has been transforming India’s economy since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital India program in July 2015.
Digitization is a major step toward economic growth and development for countries that embrace it. It can help create jobs, increase the value of assets, and make a country more attractive to investors. In India, the Government is investing in a wide range of initiatives to accelerate digitalization. These include expanding broadband internet and developing a digital payments system. It also plans to make it easier for people to verify their identities and access services through mobile devices.
The country is well on its way to becoming a digitally advanced nation. It has already made significant progress in financial inclusion, citizen engagement, and government service delivery. It is expected that digital technologies will enable India to develop more digitized ecosystems and grow its economy in new sectors such as agriculture, education, financial services, healthcare, and logistics.
The Digital India Act 2023 is an overarching framework for regulating the country’s digital space. It aims to promote innovation while ensuring citizens’ safety, trust and accountability. As part of the digital infrastructure, the Government seeks to ensure the availability of quality and affordable internet connectivity across the country. This would help increase broadband penetration and improve access to information, e-commerce and other services.
However, the new framework will consider the complexity of the online ecosystem, which has risen 100-fold since the IT Act was introduced in 2000. To deal with this, the proposed framework will adopt a “principle-and-rule-based approach” to regulation. To learn more about New Digital India Act 2023, contact one of our techno-legal advisors at Cyberra Legal Services now!