Data Protection Bill: Amazon To Skip Parliamentary Panel Meet; Facebook Executives Grilled For 2 Hours

New Delhi: E-commerce giant Amazon has declined to appear before the joint parliamentary committee, canvassing the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, which amounts to “breach of privilege of parliament”, sources told NDTV.

If Amazon fails to appear before the panel on October 28, “coercive action will be initiated”. Amazon has excused itself saying that “subject matter experts are overseas”, and “travelling is a risk due to COVID-19”, the report said.

Meanwhile, Facebook India’s policy head Ankhi Das and business head Ajit Mohan were grilled on data protection by the panel for two hours on Friday.

According to NDTV, the duo was told that the personal data of citizens cannot be used for “inferential” purposes in advertising or business or elections. They were also asked about Facebook’s revenue generation and tax payment in the country.

The joint parliamentary committee had summoned Facebook, Twitter and Amazon to discuss data protection and privacy following concerns by the opposition parties. Amazon and Twitter were asked to appear before the panel on October 28. 

Facebook’s policy head Das was recently under fire after The Wall Street Journal report accused her of bias, claiming she opposed applying hate-speech rules to a BJP politician.

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