NAVIGATING INDIA’S DPDP ACT 2023: PRIVACY CONSIDERATIONS FOR MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY 

NAVIGATING INDIA’S DPDP ACT 2023: PRIVACY CONSIDERATIONS FOR MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY 

Article by Tsaaro

7 min read

NAVIGATING INDIA’S DPDP ACT 2023: PRIVACY CONSIDERATIONS FOR MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY 

INTRODUCTION: 

The enactment of data protection legislation across various jurisdictions have necessitated strict mandates to protect people’s personal information. India is planning to implement the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 (DPDPA 2023), which is a big step and will require businesses to review their data protection procedures. The DPDP Act aims to safeguard people’s data and imposes obligations on organizations to prevent incidents such as data breaches and misuse of personal data. The Act will shape the functions of various sectors, and therefore, in order to comply with its provisions, they must implement strategic measures.  

The Act will have a profound impact on the media and entertainment (M&E) industry. In the dynamic landscape of the M&E industry, where content is king, the safeguarding of user data has become a paramount concern. The DPDP Act emerges as a pivotal force reshaping how M&E companies handle personal data. Therefore, understanding the significance of privacy in this industry is essential to comprehend the profound impact the Act is poised to have. 

In this blog, we will look at the impact of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023 on the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry. We will further discuss at the particular steps that organisations can take to demonstrate their commitment to compliance with the laws, as well as how these measures can assist enhance customer satisfaction and market trust. 

PRIVACY SIGNIFICANCE IN M&E INDUSTRY 

The media and entertainment industry caters a wide array of content for diverse consumer preferences, with digitalized entertainment platforms depending heavily on understanding tastes and preferences within the particular market area. The collecting of data allows the entertainment sector to personalize material based on individual tastes and interests in order to maximize interest. Nonetheless, it raises serious concerns regarding data privacy and security. 

In an era where M&E companies operate across diverse platforms and jurisdictions, user trust stands as the cornerstone of their success. The direct and intimate relationship these companies have with consumers places a premium on privacy. Unlike an anonymous ad company, media companies hold a special place in users’ lives, making data breaches not just an annoyance but a profound betrayal. This has been evident in past incidents, such as the Sony PlayStation Network hack, which took years for the company to regain gamers’ trust. 

Therefore, strict implementation of privacy measures in M&E industry is a need of the hour. The regulatory landscape has intensified, with laws like the DPDP Act becoming formidable tools for consumer protection. As M&E companies interact directly with both content and consumers, they are under constant scrutiny from both users and regulators. The downstream ecosystem of ads and marketing relies heavily on data collected by these companies, placing them at the forefront of regulatory attention. 

DPDP ACT IMPACT ON PRIVACY IN M&E: 

The DPDP Act introduces several provisions that directly impact how M&E companies handle personal data. These are: 

Consent Dynamics: 

One of the key pillars of the DPDP Act is the explicit requirement for companies to obtain consent before collecting or using personal data. Section 6 mandates that before processing the data of user, data fiduciary must obtain their explicit consent. This consent given by the user must be free, informed, specific, unconditional, and unambiguous. For children or individuals with disabilities, consent must be obtained from a parent or lawful guardian, in accordance with Section 9. In M&E industry where user data fuels targeted marketing and content recommendations, obtaining informed consent adds a layer of complexity. This shift may alter user engagement dynamics and pose challenges to traditional data-driven marketing strategies. 

  Data Minimization Challenge: 

Section 6(1) of the DPDPA mandates that data collected must be relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purpose of processing. Therefore, compelling companies to limit the personal data they collect. For M&E companies accustomed to creating detailed user profiles for personalized content recommendations, this poses a significant challenge. The precision of targeted advertising and user experience may be influenced as a result. 

Data Retention Constraints: 

The Act provides that data fiduciary must refrain from retaining personal data for a period longer than required for the specified period. Furthermore, it provides that data fiduciary must erase the data of a user upon their request unless retention of the same is necessary for the specified purpose or for compliance with any law for the time being in force. Therefore, organisations are now required to retain personal data only for as long as necessary for the original purpose. This has repercussions for M&E companies relying on extended user behaviour tracking to enhance content recommendations and refine services. Business models and analytics strategies may need adjustment to comply with shorter data retention periods. 

Data Localization Imperative: 

A distinctive feature of the DPDP Act is the requirement for companies to store personal data within India. These challenges the infrastructure choices of M&E companies, particularly those relying on cloud-based services with data stored outside the country. Adapting to data localization requirements may require substantial investments in new technologies and processes. 

PRIVACY COMPLIANCE AS A COMPETITIVE EDGE 

While adapting to the DPDP Act presents challenges, it also presents following opportunities for M&E companies: 

Building Consumer Trust: Privacy-conscious practices aligned with the DPDP Act can enhance consumer trust and loyalty. As users become more aware of and confident in how their data is handled, M&E companies adopting these practices may gain a competitive edge in an industry where trust is paramount. Organisations that prioritize privacy and data protection can cultivate a positive brand reputation. Word-of-mouth recommendations and positive reviews from privacy-conscious consumers can enhance brand credibility and attract a broader audience. 

Transparency and Communication: Clearly communicating privacy policies and practices to consumers can foster transparency. Regular updates and easy-to-understand explanations about data collection, usage, and protection measures can build a strong foundation of trust. 

Enhanced Security Measures: Implementing robust data security protocols not only complies with the DPDP Act but also reassures consumers that their personal information is safeguarded against breaches and misuse. This assurance can lead to increased consumer confidence and loyalty. 

User-Centric Privacy Controls: Offering users greater control over their personal data, such as easy access to consent management and data deletion options, can empower consumers. When users feel in control of their information, they are more likely to trust the company and engage with its services. 

Assist In Navigating Regulatory Landscape: 

DPDP Act compliance goes beyond fulfilling specific provisions; it positions companies to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape effectively. Proactive adjustments in technology and communication strategies demonstrate a commitment to privacy, mitigating the risk of regulatory backlash. By staying informed about regulatory changes and proactively adapting to new requirements, companies can avoid penalties and maintain compliance. This forward-thinking approach can also prepare companies for future regulations that may arise. 

Technology and Infrastructure Upgrades: Investing in technology that supports data protection, such as advanced encryption, secure storage solutions, and automated compliance monitoring tools, can streamline compliance efforts. These upgrades can also enhance overall operational efficiency. 

Employee Training and Awareness: Ensuring that employees are well-informed about data protection practices and the DPDP Act’s requirements is crucial. Regular training sessions and workshops can help employees understand their roles in maintaining compliance and protecting consumer data. Developing clear and effective communication strategies for internal and external stakeholders can demonstrate a commitment to privacy. Regular updates on compliance efforts and open channels for addressing concerns can build trust and prevent misunderstandings. 

Risk Mitigation: Proactively addressing potential risks related to data protection can mitigate the likelihood of regulatory scrutiny and reputational damage. Conducting regular audits, risk assessments, and implementing corrective measures can ensure ongoing compliance and minimize vulnerabilities. 

By focusing on these aspects, M&E companies can turn the challenges of adapting to the DPDP Act into opportunities for building consumer trust and navigating the regulatory landscape effectively. 

CONCLUSION 

The DPDP Act of 2023 is a transformative force for the media and entertainment industry in India, emphasizing the critical role of privacy. As companies adapt to its provisions, they must navigate the delicate balance between compliance and maintaining user trust. While challenges lie in reshaping data practices and infrastructure, the opportunities for building stronger relationships with users and thriving in a privacy-conscious era are significant. The DPDP Act marks a pivotal moment in the industry’s journey toward a more secure, transparent, and consumer-centric approach to data privacy. 

Shubham Bansal

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