Thales Blog

Navigating Compliance: Understanding India's Digital Personal Data Protection Act

May 9, 2024

Rana Gupta Rana Gupta | APAC Regional VP, Data Protection More About This Author >

In August 2023, the Indian Parliament passed a piece of landmark legislation, the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act, marking a significant shift in India's data protection landscape. This act, set to replace the existing frameworks under the Information Technology Act of 2000 and the SPDI Rules of 2011, provides a comprehensive approach to protecting digital personal data.

Recognizing the importance of individuals' rights to data protection, the DPDP Act sets out obligations for organizations that handle citizens’ data while outlining the rights and duties of data principals or the persons to whom the data relates. It also imposes financial penalties for those in breach of rights and institutes a Data Protection Board of India to oversee compliance.

Overview of the DPDP Act

The DPDP Act applies to the processing of digital personal data within India, where data is collected online or offline and then digitized. It also applies to processing data outside the country if it is for offering goods or services in India. The Bill allows the transfer of personal data outside India, too, except to nations restricted by the central government through notification.

The DPDP Act has several provisions:

  • Lawful Purpose and Consent: Personal data processing is permissible only for lawful purposes and mandates individual consent, except for specified legitimate uses.
  • Data Fiduciary Obligations: Data fiduciaries, namely, individuals, corporations, and governmental bodies that handle data, are charged with maintaining data accuracy, security, and deletion post-fulfillment of purposes.
  • Individual Rights: The Act grants individuals rights to access, rectify, erase, and seek grievance redressal concerning their data.
  • Exemptions and Penalties: Certain exemptions for government agencies exist, while penalties for non-compliance range up to Rs 250 crore.

Benefits Beyond Compliance

Compliance with DPDP offers more than avoiding penalties or sticking to a checklist; it can be a strategic advantage for businesses. Firstly, robust compliance builds trust among stakeholders.

By consistently meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements, companies demonstrate their commitment to ethical conduct and responsibility, which helps them build stronger relationships with customers, investors, and partners. This trust often translates into increased customer loyalty, higher investor confidence, and fruitful collaborations, ultimately boosting the bottom line.

Secondly, compliance helps improve operational efficiency and risk management. Rather than viewing compliance as a tiresome obligation, businesses can leverage it as an opportunity to streamline processes, identify potential vulnerabilities, and implement best practices. Being proactive in this way reduces the likelihood of expensive regulatory breaches and cultivates a culture of continuous improvement and innovation within the business.

By factoring compliance into strategic decision-making and day-to-day operations, companies can adapt rapidly to changing regulatory landscapes, mitigate risks effectively, and seize opportunities for sustainable growth.

DPDP Compliance: A Data-Centric Approach

Thales offers a data-centric security approach to addressing the complexities of DPDP compliance. It prioritizes protecting data, irrespective of location, to ensure comprehensive protection throughout the data lifecycle.

Thales's solutions address critical aspects of DPDP compliance.

Organizations must first locate and classify sensitive data based on sensitivity to safeguard and ensure compliance. CipherTrust Data Discovery and Classification identifies data, supporting both on-premises and cloud deployment, streamlining identification, risk assessment, and compliance analysis.

Next, the CipherTrust Data Security Platform establishes strict access controls and separation of duties. It limits administrators' control over security activities and encryption keys, supporting two-factor authentication.

Continuous monitoring is crucial, too. Thales' solutions capture and analyze data activity across platforms and databases. Imperva Data Security Fabric DAM simplifies auditing for various platforms, including cloud-hosted databases.

Data at rest must be protected through encryption or tokenization. CipherTrust Tokenization and CipherTrust Data Protection Gateway provide extensive security features. CipherTrust Transparent Encryption provides centralized key management and detailed access logging, while CipherTrust Security Intelligence facilitates compliance reporting and threat detection with streamlined logging and reporting.

Protecting Data Everywhere

Controlling the security of data is closely related to controlling the keys that enforce effective data encryption. The CipherTrust Data Security (CDSP) Platform provides robust enterprise key management through its Cloud Key Manager across multiple cloud service providers and hybrid cloud environments, centrally managing encryption keys and configuring security policies. This allows businesses to control and protect sensitive data across cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments.

The platform also allows administrators to create a clear separation of duties and enforce granular access management policies based on various parameters, ensuring secure data handling. In addition, it supports two-factor authentication for administrative access.

However, data is mostly vulnerable while in motion. Thales High-Speed Encryptors (HSE) provide network-independent data-in-motion encryption, securing data as it moves between sites or from on-premises to the cloud without degrading performance.

Finally, Thales OneWelcome identity & access management solutions ensure compliance with DPDP requirements, protecting sensitive data through appropriate access controls and supporting a range of authentication methods.

Achieving Compliance Effectively

As organizations adapt to the stringent regulatory landscape ushered in by the DPDP Act, partnering with Thales equips them with the tools and expertise to achieve compliance effectively.

By adopting a data-centric security approach and leveraging the benefits the CipherTrust Data Security Platform offers, businesses meet regulatory mandates and fortify their data protection posture, fostering trust among stakeholders and enabling sustainable growth in the digital era.

Visit our DPDP compliance dedicated page to learn more about how Thales can help you comply with this landmark legislation.