Data Protection Bill will give rights to Centre to invade privacy: TMC

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress on Saturday vehemently protested against Section 35 of the Personal Data Protection Bill stating that it will give exclusive rights to the government to invade one's privacy without any consent.

This came when five Opposition members of the Parliamentary committee, reviewing the Bill, had filed dissent notes. The dissent note was given by Derek O'Brien and Mahua Moitra of Trinamool Congress along with Jairam Ramesh, Manish Tewari and Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress who had filed the dissent notes on November 22.

Raising its concern, Trinamool Congress on Saturday tweeted: "Will the Data Protection Bill really protect our data? We have seen STATE-SPONSORED SNOOPING on the people of India. Now, Section 35 of the Bill will give the govt. exclusive rights to invade our privacy whenever they want WITHOUT CONSENT! Our privacy SHOULD NOT be compromised." In their dissent note, O'Brien and Moitra had stated about the process of consensus-building on the report in a "rushed" manner. The final draft was also slammed considering "lack of adequate safeguards for the protection of the privacy of the data principal" and also expressed concern over the involvement of the Centre in terms of selection of the DPA chairperson.

Trinamool Congress had lambasted the Centre during the Pegasus row. In an intensified attack at the BJP-led Centre over the hacking of phones using Pegasus spyware, Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee had earlier stated that the country's situation is "worse than super-emergency".

She had termed the incident to be "more serious than the Watergate scandal".

The Bengal government had also constituted a two-member Commission of Inquiry comprising retired Supreme Court Judge Justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur and former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court Justice (Retired) Jyotirmay Bhattacharya to probe the allegations that the Pegasus software was misused to spy on lawyers, journalists, politicians and government officials.

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