Social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok will require to offer an identity-verification option. These platforms will have to offer a mechanism for users to provide their identities and display the verification publicly. This will also help other users to check if they are communicating with the verified individuals.
The DPB will be placed before the Parliament in the current winter session. The government expects that the bill will bring a proper balance between privacy and protection. The government was earlier toying with a thought of integrating Aadhaar for verification by linking the 12-digit Aadhaar ID to social media accounts of users. However, considering the sensitivity of Aadhaar data, the speculation was denied.
The bill was first proposed by a nine-member committee headed by Justin BN Srikrishna in July 2018. The proposal levies hefty penalties on entities that violate user privacy. It is proposed that the action on a data security breach should attract a penalty of up to Rs 5 crore (or 2% of overall turnover).
DPB will also enforce data localisation norms, preventing global companies to take the data bank out of India. The DPB will categorise personal data into different categories.
India is one of the largest markets for social media platforms. The country has an average of 200 to 400 million monthly active users. But with very little moderation techniques used by these platforms, they are often blamed for being exploited to spread fake news and misinformation. The DPB might help in reducing the ill-effects of social media.