At a glance.
- India’s data protection bill heads to Parliament.
- NCSC requests public comment on cybersecurity workforce development.
- Workers’ Party chief expresses support for Singapore’s new digital crime bill.
India’s data protection bill heads to Parliament.
Outlook India reports that India’s Union Cabinet yesterday approved the latest draft of the Digital Data Protection Bill. An earlier draft issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) last November garnered concerns from privacy advocates over the numerous exemptions granted to government bodies. For instance, the government was given the authority to process private data in the interest of "India's sovereignty and integrity, security, friendly relations with foreign states, public order maintenance, or avoiding incitement to any cognizable offence relating to any of these." The Internet Freedom Foundation worried this gave the government disproportionate influence, and stated that the bill "fails to adequately address data protection concerns and instead puts in place a regime to facilitate the data processing activities of state and private actors." As well, lawyer and Internet Freedom Foundation head Apar Gupta noted that the consultation process for that draft was limited only to those with internet access. Gupta tweeted, "Were the responses made public? (no) What was the composition of stakeholders in terms of percentage distribution? (not provided) Was there a robust process in place to analyze and incorporate the feedback received? (not disclosed) If changes were implemented based on the submissions, why was the rationale not shared publicly?" The new draft gives the Union government the power to establish “fair and reasonable” causes for using personal data without consent, and it also calls for the establishment of a Data Protection Authority. The bill will go to Parliament for approval during the next session, which is scheduled to begin July 20.
NCSC requests public comment on cybersecurity workforce development.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published a public consultation document on their proposed plans for developing the cybersecurity workforce in Great Britain. The proposal calls for the establishment of a cyber security council that will bring together existing professional bodies, academia, and industry, with the government serving in an advisory role. The goal is to give members of these bodies access to government services and benefits. The NCSC also says it plans to collaborate with this council to develop the Cyber Certified Professional scheme. Chris Ensor, the NCSC’s Deputy Director Cyber Skills and Growth, explains, “We’re looking to add value, not to replace or replicate anything that is working well, and my hope is that we will create a focal point for the whole profession - an agile and responsive organisation, able to keep pace with the fast-moving world of cyber security.” The NCSC will be accepting public comment on the proposal until August 31.
Workers’ Party chief expresses support for Singapore’s new digital crime bill.
As we noted yesterday, the Singapore government has passed new legislation aimed at fighting cyber scams called the Online Criminal Harm Bill (OCHA). The Workers’ Party (WP) supports the bill, though it has in the past opposed laws focused on regulation of digital content like the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) and the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act (FICA). The Independent Singapore reports that Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh explained to Parliament Wednesday why WP sees OCHA differently. “Not all legislation passed in this House targeting online content is equal,” he said. He noted that POFMA and FICA restrict Singaporeans’ access to content that the government perceives to be false, manipulative, or foreign interference, and indicated that not everyone agrees on those descriptors, and that laws like POFMA and FICA could give the government undue authority to repress dissent. “Reasonable people can disagree with the Government on what types of online content are harmful and whether Singaporeans need to be protected from them,’ he stated. He went on to say that OCHA’s focus on defending consumers’ rights sets it apart from other legislation. “OCHA is targeted at protecting members of the public from scams and offences that can cause financial and other harm. If it remains focused on this target, the WP will continue to be in favour of its implementation,” he stated.