Latest Updates on Privacy – October 2021 – Part II

This is a rundown of last week’s news updates on Privacy:

Data Protection Bill report to be finalised

The Parliamentary Joint Select Committee is set to finalise its report on the Data Protection Bill following a reshuffle of its members. Reports suggest that no substantial changes will be brought about to the Bill, however, certain members are said to hold objections to a single Data Protection Authority for the country, with a suggestion to create Data Protection Authorities for States. Suggestions for protecting the rights of States in handling cases of breach of privacy have been incorporated by the Committee. The Committee’s report is also said to have discussed the power of the Center to exclude the application of the Act to any government agency, without much input.

California signs in Genetic Information Privacy Act

California Governor Newsom has signed into law the Genetic Information Privacy Act, which comes into force from January 1st, 2022. The Act lays down strong penalties for compliance, but also provides safe harbour exceptions and does not regulate entities already subject to other health information privacy laws. The Act also does not cover tests conducted to determine whether a person is suffering from a specific disease, in light of the COVID-19 situation. The Act also contains provisions to strictly regulate patients rights, use of information for advertising, and transparency in data use.

Florida passes Protecting DNA Privacy Act

Florida has enacted the Protecting DNA Privacy Act, which amends their existing genetic privacy law, and imposes criminal penalties for the unauthorised use of genetic data. The Act stipulates that the submission of DNA samples without consent, and the disclosure of DNA test results without consent would constitute a third degree felony, and sale or transfer of DNA data to third parties without consent would constitute a second degree felony. The Act further provides that genetic information is the exclusive property of the person from whom it is collected.
Authored by Rohan Joshua Jacob (Associate).

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