Proposed Data Protection Rules: Online Platforms Could Be Obligated to Erase Inactive User Data

Navigating the Future: Balancing Digital Innovation with User Data Privacy in India


In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, concerns about the privacy and security of personal data have gained significant attention. The upcoming Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) rules in India are poised to bring about substantial changes in how online platforms handle user information. One of the key provisions under consideration is the mandatory permanent deletion of data belonging to users who have been inactive for three consecutive years.

The Need for Stringent Data Protection:

The ever-growing digital ecosystem has led to an exponential increase in the collection and storage of personal data by online platforms. With this surge, the potential for data misuse and privacy breaches has also escalated. Recognizing the need to safeguard user information, the Indian government is reportedly set to introduce administrative rules aimed at reinforcing digital personal data protection.

Key Highlights of the Proposed Rule:

The core aspect of the proposed data protection rule revolves around the obligation for online platforms, including ecommerce companies, online marketplaces, gaming intermediaries, and social media platforms, to permanently erase the data of users who have remained inactive for three consecutive years. This provision is expected to apply universally, irrespective of the size or user base of the platform.

Implications for Various Online Sectors:

  1. Ecommerce Companies:
    • Ecommerce giants, which often handle sensitive personal and financial information, may need to adapt their data retention policies to comply with the proposed rule.
    • The move aims to empower users by ensuring that their data is not retained indefinitely without their active engagement.
  2. Online Marketplaces:
    • Similar to ecommerce companies, online marketplaces connecting buyers and sellers may face the task of implementing mechanisms for the automatic deletion of inactive user data.
  3. Gaming Intermediaries:
    • Gaming platforms, a thriving sector in the digital space, could also be impacted by the rule, prompting them to reassess their data management practices.
  4. Social Media Platforms:
    • Social media, where user engagement is paramount, would need to develop strategies to manage inactive accounts and responsibly handle the vast amounts of personal data they accumulate.

Anticipated Release of DPDP Administrative Rules:

The Indian government is expected to release the administrative rules for DPDP soon, shedding light on the specifics of the proposed data protection measures. This move aligns with global trends where governments are taking proactive steps to enhance digital privacy and protect user rights.


As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the proposed data protection rules signify a crucial step towards empowering users and holding online platforms accountable for the data they collect. Striking a balance between innovation and privacy, these rules, once implemented, are poised to shape the future of digital interactions in India. The anticipated release of the administrative rules will provide a comprehensive insight into the measures that online platforms must adopt to ensure the responsible handling and deletion of user data.

Leave a comment