Interpreting India

Exploring India’s Data Protection Law with Rahul Matthan

Episode Summary

In this episode of Interpreting India, Rahul Matthan joins Anirudh Burman to discuss the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023. What were the main points of contention in the making of this law? How have debates on data protection over the past decade shaped this law? What are the key strengths and weaknesses of this law? How will this law be implemented in the coming years?

Episode Notes

The past week has been momentous for those awaiting the enactment of a legal framework for data protection in India. India’s parliament passed the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, and the law has now also received the assent of the President of India. This law has been enacted after multiple rounds of deliberations and consultations. Multiple committees have submitted reports on the proposed legislation, and three previous drafts of the legislation have been circulated for public consultation. What changes has this law undergone? How will the cost of data protection and privacy compliance impact Indian businesses?

In this episode of Interpreting India, Rahul Matthan joins Anirudh Burman to give us insights into these questions and more.

Episode Contributors

Rahul Matthan is a partner at Trilegal, one of India’s leading law firms, and heads the technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) practice of the firm. He has extensive experience advising on high-value TMT transactions in the country. Rahul’s expertise spans several sectors in the technology space, including data protection, digital finance, cryptocurrencies, e-commerce, and more. Rahul has advised the government on the data privacy law and has served on the Kris Gopalakrishnan Committee on Non-Personal Data. He has authored numerous articles and thought pieces on various topical issues relating to computers, the internet, and other new technologies.

Anirudh Burman is an associate research director and fellow at Carnegie India. He works on key issues relating to public institutions, public administration, the administrative and regulatory state, and state capacity.  He has also worked extensively on financial regulation and regulatory governance.

He has published works related to parliamentary oversight in India, the freedom of movement and residence, measuring the responsiveness of independent regulators in India, the design of insolvency professionals as a regulated profession, and the right to information.

Additional Readings

Get On with Data Protection Now That the Law’s Enacted by Rahul Matthan

Companies Must Work Hard to Ensure Data Protection by Rahul Matthan

Resisting the Leviathan: The Key Change in India’s New Proposal to Protect Personal Data by Anirudh Burman

Will India’s Proposed Data Protection Law Protect Privacy and Promote Growth? by Anirudh Burman


Key Moments:

(0:00); Introduction 

(3:00); Chapter 1: The Journey of This Act

(7:03); Chapter 2: Data Protection in India

(10:58); Chapter 3: Key Components of the Data Protection Act 

(14:19); Chapter 4: Applying GDPR Compliance in India

(22:00); Chapter 5: Right to Data Portability

(27:57); Chapter 6: Consent Manager Framework 

(32:44); Chapter 7: The Indian Government’s Data Accessing Powers

(37:30); Chapter 8: Restrictions on Data Fiduciaries

(42:46); Chapter 9: Blocking Data Fiduciaries’ Access to Public Information  

(45:18); Chapter 10: Data Localization

(46:56); Chapter 11: Establishing a Data Protection Board

(49:48); Closing Comments

(52:40); Outro