E-commerce giant Amazon is set to face the music in India for breach of privilege for its reluctance to appear before the Joint Committee of Parliament looking into the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019. Reacting to Amazon’s refusal to appear before the panel on October 28, the Chairperson Meenakshi Lekhi MP warned Amazon of breach of privilege. Amazon stated that its “subject matter experts are overseas” and that there are travel risks. Taking it very seriously, the Joint Committee has warned that if Amazon does not appear before the panel on October 28, “coercive action will be initiated” against it. Panel head Meenakshi Lekhi said if no one from Amazon appears then it could face “breach of privilege”. Facebook officials gave their presentation before the panel on Friday while Google, Twitter, and Paytm have to do so on October 29. The Committee is trying to seek “oral evidence” on the issues of data protection and privacy.
“The panel is unanimous in its opinion that coercive action can be suggested to the government against the e-commerce company,” said Lekhi, reacting to Amazon’s non-cooperative stand with the panel.
“Amazon has refused to appear before the panel on October 28 and if no one on behalf of the e-commerce company appears before the panel it amounts to a breach of privilege,” she added.
Foreign Social Media companies like Facebook and Twitter are facing charges for playing out their political preferences in many countries including India.
The committee is looking into the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, following concerns expressed by Congress. It has called all stakeholders, including Facebook and Twitter, to get an overview. Meanwhile, Facebook’s public policy head Ankhi Das appeared before the Joint Committee of Parliament on the issue of data security on Friday. Facebook India representatives were asked some tough and searching questions by the members of the panel, sources said.
According to sources, the MPs asked many questions and clarifications on how these foreign companies can ensure data protection and privacy and their responsibility to Indian agencies? Foreign Social Media companies like Facebook and Twitter are facing charges for playing out their political preferences in many countries including India. There are allegations that the majority of the staffers of these companies are politically oriented persons and play mischief against opposite ideologies.
The panel has summoned officials of micro-blogging site Twitter on October 28, and Google and Paytm on October 29.