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China, India could finalize privacy legislation by year's end

Countries around the world are coming around on the need to address privacy, including China and India, which carry a combined population of more than 3 billion people. There has been much hype about proposals for China's Personal Information Protection Law and India's Personal Data Protection Bill, but both draft laws have been stuck in neutral in their respective legislative processes for months.

During the opening panel discussion of the IAPP's Global Privacy Summit Online 2021, Rui Bai Law Firm Head of Corporate Barbara Li and Future of Privacy Forum Senior Fellow Malavika Raghavan indicated the stagnant status of each proposal is likely to change in the months ahead and finalization of the laws is possible before the end of 2021.

In fact, Li broke the news that privacy professionals may see new developments with China's PIPL before the end of April. She said the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China has the PIPL and a proposed data security law on the agenda during its session April 26 to 29.

"If things move around quickly, I sense we may probably see this law is finalized very soon," Li said. "Definitely stay tuned. There's likely to be a very quick step in these coming months or just the coming weeks."

The draft PIPL was proposed last October and has already undergone a public consultation. According to Li, the quick moves on data protection legislation are attributable to China's fast-growing digital economy and data use issues stemming from the growth, including the "use or processing of personal data beyond what is reasonable or allowed under the law." On the other hand, Li noted that the Chinese government is also "very keen to strike a proper balance" enabling economic growth while "providing very strong support and protection of personal data."


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