Data Localisation Under the PDP Bill, 2019: Does it Violate India’s WTO Obligations?

About the author:

Karthika Rajmohan is a fourth-year student from Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai. Nilay Shah is a fourth-year student from Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai. Both share common interest in International Trade Law and Public Policy.

Introduction

The landmark judgment on the right to privacy passed by the Supreme Court in K.S. Puttuswamy v. Union of India provided a crucial impetus to privacy jurisprudence in India. This impact continued into the new Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (‘2019 Bill’) which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. Enacted to ‘protect the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal data’, the 2019 Bill has been the subject of much criticism. With the Bill now undergoing review by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, it is pertinent to talk about one of the more controversial measures introduced by it – ‘Data Localization’.