Saturday 5 December 2020
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Amazon refuses to appear before parliament committee

Twitter & Amazon had been summoned on 28 October; Facebook is meeting the panel on the 23rd; Google & Paytm will make their submissions on 29

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Politics India Amazon refuses to appear before parliament committee

E-commerce giant Amazon has refused to appear before the joint committee of the Indian parliament on the Data Protection Bill on 28 October, alleged panel chairperson and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi today, adding that this amounted to “breach of privilege”.

Lekhi said, “The panel is unanimous in its opinion that coercive action can be suggested to the government against the e-commerce company”. “Amazon has refused to appear before the panel on 28 October and if no one on behalf of the e-commerce company appears before the panel it amounts to a breach of privilege,” she said.

If Amazon does not appear before the panel on 28 October, “coercive action will be initiated” against Amazon, sources said. The US e-commerce giant said their “subject matter experts are overseas” and cited travel risks due to which they cannot appear.

The committee, which is looking into the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, following concerns expressed by the Congress, had called all stakeholders, including Facebook and Twitter, to get an overview.

Meanwhile, Facebook‘s policy head Ankhi Das appeared before the panel on the issue of data security on 23 October. The panel asked Facebook India representatives some tough and searching questions by the members of the panel, sources said.

During the meeting, a member suggested that the social media giant should not draw inferences from the data of its users for commercial benefits of its advertisers.

The panel has summoned officials of micro-blogging site Twitter on 28 October, and Google and Paytm on 29 October, according to a notice issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

While introducing the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, in parliament last year, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it empowers the government to ask companies — Facebook, Google and others

While introducing the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, in parliament last year, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it empowers the government to ask companies Facebook, Google and others for anonymous personal and non-personal data.

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