Will work with Parliamentary Panel to set record straight: Amazon

The US-based online retailer’s clarification comes following reports that claimed the company’s refusal to depose before the committee had irked several of its members, including chairperson and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.

New Delhi | Bengaluru: E-commerce giant Amazon said on Friday that it had already offered written submissions to the Joint Parliamentary Committee studying the Personal Data Protection Bill, and that the inability of its topic experts to travel to India due to travel restrictions “may have been misconstrued” as an unwillingness to depose before the committee.

The US-based online retailer’s clarification comes following reports that claimed the company’s refusal to depose before the committee had irked several of its members, including chairperson and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.

Amazon is likely to field someone from its India team to depose in front of the panel on October 28, a source in the know of the matter told ET, adding that it had voluntarily sought to depose before the committee in February to put across its views on the Bill.


“The inability of our experts to travel from overseas due to travel restriction and depose before the JPC during the ongoing pandemic may have been misconstrued and led to a misunderstanding and we will work with the JPC to set the record straight,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “We will continue to engage in any way the JPC considers fit,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier in the day, news agency IANS quoted Lekhi as saying that the committee had taken a serious view of the matter and that “coercive actions may follow” if Amazon’s representatives fail to show up.

A senior executive at Amazon told ET that the company had not received any breach of privilege notice from the panel yet.
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Apart from Amazon, US-based social media companies Facebook and Twitter have also been summoned by the committee.

Facebook’s India public policy head Ankhi Das appeared before the panel on Friday.

“We believe that India’s data protection law has the potential to propel the country’s digital economy and global digital trade, and we wholeheartedly support this effort. That is why we deeply appreciate to be a part of this discussion and will continue to work alongside governments and regulators to find the right solutions which not only protect users’ privacy but are also interoperable with other major global privacy regulations," a Facebook spokesperson said.
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