Digital India Bill: Smartwatches, other wearable devices to be under regulation 

The Bill, which will replace Information Technology Act (IT Act) 2000, will mandate the consumers for these products to go through ‘strict KYC’ process.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo | AP)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo | AP)

NEW DELHI: Digital India Bill proposes to bring smartwatches, spy camera glasses or any other wearable devices under stringent regulation. The Bill, which will replace Information Technology Act (IT Act) 2000, will mandate the consumers for these products to go through ‘strict KYC’ process.  The Bill also proposes ethical usage of artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools to protect the rights or choices of users. 

To secure cyberspace, the government is mulling to empower agencies like CERT-In for cyber resilience; strengthening the penalty framework for non-compliance, advisories on information and data security practices, etc.  

“Privacy invasive devices such as spy camera glasses, and wearable tech should be mandated under stringent regulation before market entry with strict know your customer (KYC) requirements for retail sales with appropriate criminal law 19 strict KYC requirements for retail sales with criminal law sanctions,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State at Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity), while having public consultation on the Bill in Bengaluru on March 9, 2023. 

The proposed Bill will have separate rules for content monetisation for platform-generated and user-generated content. The minister held consultations with stakeholders and made a presentation on the objectives and goals of the Bill. 

He said the proposed Bill aims to help India achieve the goal of becoming a trillion-dollar digital economy and be a significant trusted player in the global value chains for digital products, devices, platforms and solutions. “Internet that began as a force of good has today become vulnerable to complex user harms like catfishing, cyberstalking, cyber trolling, gaslighting, phishing, revenge porn, cyber-flashing, dark web, women and children, defamation, cyber-bullying, doxing, salami slicing, etc and there is an urgent need for a specialised and dedicated adjudicatory mechanism for online civil and criminal offences,” he said.
The government believes, the current IT Act 2000, has limited recognition of harms and new forms of cybercrimes, without any institutional mechanism for awareness creation.

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