PDPSI is back

Naavi had introduced the framework of PDPSI as Personal Data Protection Standard of India to provide a framework of compliance for compliance of PDPB 2019, the earlier draft Bill for data protection in India.

However, when JPC 2 modified the draft Bill of PDPB 2019 as DPA 2021, the Bill was renamed as “Data Protection Bill” and some aspects of regulation of nonpersonal data was brought into the Bill with the possibility of the regulator under the Act having overlapping powers with the Director CERT-In who was responsible under ITA 2000 to regulate non personal data security.

We were therefore forced to rename the PDPSI framework as DPCSI frame work meaning Data Protection Compliance Standard of India. Now that the Government has decided to keep Personal Data Protection only to this act and leave non personal data protection to ITA 2000, it is time to revert to PDPSI as the name of the framework.

The 12 standard, 50 implementation specification format will remain and the DTS calculation based on the 50 Model Implementation specifications will also remain in tact though the new Act is silent on DTS for the time being.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PDPSI is now DPCSI or Data Protection Compliance Standard of India

The recommendation of the Joint parliamentary committee that the PDPB 2019 should be amended to be called the “Data Protection Act.20xx” and include some aspects of Non Personal Data Governance into the PDPB2019/DPA20xx has created a certain confusion as to the status of the Governance of the Personal Data Protection in India.

Though the PDPB 2019 has been suggested to be amended to include its applicability to “Anonymised Personal Data” and mandate that the non personal data breach should be reported to the Data Protection Authority created under this Act, the act in most of its part still apply only to the Personal Data Protection. Hence in terms of compliance requirements, the PDPSI remains in tact with the addition of the following two requirements related to this change.

  1. The Consent notice shall include a clause ” I agree that after the purpose for which my personal data was disclosed has been fulfilled, it may be anonymised as approved under the Indian law and used as required”.
  2. Any data breach related to non personal data shall be reported to the Data Protection Authority as may be required.

There is however some reports to suggest that the Government of India is still undecided as to the inclusion of Non Personal Data aspects in PDPB2019/DPA20xx.

We need to await the passage of the bill for clarity on this aspect.

Until such time, we shall call the PDPSI as DPCSI or Data Protection Compliance Standard of India.

Accordingly the Data Protection Management System will be called “Data Protection Compliance Management System” or DP-CMS. This term will be comparable to ISMS or PIMS or DPMS used in other compliance frameworks.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PDPSI is designed for Compliance

(In continuation of the previous article)

PDPSI is a framework which evolved from the Indian Information Security Framework (IISF-309) which was first developed for compliance of ITA 2000, and published in March 2009.

PDPSI was designed to be of use for “Compliance” of data protection regulations for an organization which is involved in processing of personal data and is subject to the Indian jurisdiction.  The primary law of the Indian jurisdiction  now is ITA 2000 and is read with PDPB 2019 as the “Due Diligence Requirement” under ITA 2000.

PDPSI takes into account the fact that if the Indian organization is involved in processing personal data originating from abroad, the organization will be required to factor-in compliance of the appropriate law applicable to the “Country of Origin” of the personal data. It is therefore a “Unified Compliance Framework”.

Further PDPSI restricts its objective to “Compliance” of “Data Protection Law applicable to an Indian Data Fiduciary”. The  terms such as PIMS or DPMS used in ISO 27701 and IS 17428 indicate that these frameworks provide/attempt to provide a certification on the Personal Information or Personal Data Management system per-se. These standards do not claim to have been designed for “Compliance” but have drawn heavily from the GDPR in identifying the principles of Privacy which the PIMS/DPMS system tries to “manage”.

PDPSI on the other hand is designed for compliance. It is a template for compliance of any data protection law and incorporates many controls which are relevant for Indian requirement under ITA 2000-PDPB 2019 which may not be available in other laws such as GDPR. PDPSI is therefore more comprehensive than the IS 17428.

Also, both ISO 27701 and IS 17428 are not independent standards and have to be read with ISO 27001/2 and will not be certifiable except with ISO 27001 certification. Both ISO 27701 and IS 17428 have to therefore be considered as an augmented ISO 27001 rather than independent standards by themselves.

PDPSI however is an independent certifiable standard and incorporates protection of information through the CIA principle as part of its Implementation Specifications.

PDPSI is a framework which addresses “Management of Personal Information in an organization for the purpose of protecting the privacy of the data principal as indicated in the relevant law”.

This system is better referred to as PDP-CMS or “Personal Data Protection Compliance Management System” instead of PIMS or DPMS.

The primary focus of PDPSI controls are  therefore the prescriptions under the target regulation and any generic managerial controls which may be part of the system are meant to/ designed help the compliance in the longer run.

It is therefore possible to develop PDPSI certification as a tightly integrated certification for compliance of a given data protection regulation.

For example PDPSI-In can be considered as near compliance of Indian data protection regulation while  PDPSI-EU may be related to compliance of EU GDPR and PDPSI-Sg may be related to compliance of Singapore PDPA 2012. etc.

PDPSI however recognizes that “Compliance” of a law inherently involves “Interpretation” of law and hence even the best interpretation of a professional can only be a second guess on what the Data Protection Authority of the day thinks is the correct interpretation or a third guess on what the Courts may interpret.

While PDPSI attempts to partially address the alignment of compliance with the DPA’s interpretation, it may  not be possible to align the compliance with the possible interpretation of a Court in a future judicial proceedings and in that context PDPSI would be a “Good Faith” interpretation of what the Data Protection Jurisprudence could be.

Understanding PDPSI in its full perspective requires a more detailed discussion. FDPPI and Naavi are committed to explain these principles to all interested professionals who would be curious to know why PDPSI is considered as the “Bade Bhai” to IS 17428 which is the “Chote Bhai”.

Naavi is planning to conduct a free introductory webinar shortly to explain PDPSI concept in detail. FDPPI is also separately conducting Certification programs to develop DPOs who can implement the PDPSI in a corporate scenario.

Watch out for the introductory free webinar and book your interest through e-mail with naavi or as a comment here under.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IS 17428 and PDPSI

Recently, the Bureau of Indian Standards introduced a new standard called IS 17428 as the standard for providing privacy assurance for individuals and for organizations to set up a “DPMS” or data protection Management System.

Obviously there is a need to compare IS 17428 with PDPSI which is already being used to evaluate the Personal Data Protection Compliance System (PDP-CMS) in organizations that process Personal Data.

IS 17428 comes with a good pedigree since it is backed by the BIS . But compared to PDPSI, it is observed that the standard does not make an attempt to cover the requirements of the PDPB 2019 which is the forthcoming law of data protection in India. It also does not confine to the requirements under Section 43A of ITA 2000 which is the current law of data protection in India. The standard tries to look at GDPR and replicate ISO 27701.

Like ISO 27701, IS 17428 cannot be implemented without ISO 27001 and is not certifiable. On the other hand, PDPSI is inclusive of technical security measures and is certifiable with DTS calculation.

The IS 17428 standard has two parts, the first part being termed as “Requirements” and the second part as “Guidelines”. The Guidelines are said to be “Optional”.

Part 1 has the following six sections




4.Privacy Engineering

5.Privacy Management


Part 2 contains the first 5 sections and not the 6th section.

The standard tries to distinguish the terms “Privacy Engineering” and “Privacy Management”. Rather than providing clarity on two roles in Privacy Protection one for the technical team and the second for the organizational team, this adds more confusion to the compliance process.  If Privacy Engineering refers to the technical side of processing and Privacy Management refers to the policy level of processing, it is unclear whether a Data Protection Officer is a Privacy Engineer or a Privacy Manager.

In PDPSI, it is not only the DPO who will be responsible for compliance but under the “Distributed Responsibility” concept, every employee is a DPO for his area of function. This concept raises the level of “Accountability” of the organization as an aggregation of the accountability of every employee.

PDPSI addresses “Privacy Engineering” by the Implementation specification on “Privacy By Design” but leaves the direction to the DPO along with the distributed responsibility of the engineering team.

Unlike ISO 27701 which integrates ISO 27001/2 into the standard itself IS 17428 only provides DPMS related requirements relegating the ISO 27001 reference to the optional guideline under Part 2.

As a result there is lack of adequate clarity in the document.

On the other hand, PDPSI comes with 12 standards and 50 implementation specifications. The Standards are a overview while Implementation specifications go a step further into the details.

The 50 implementation specifications of PDPSI cover not only the PIMS related aspects in ISO 27701 or the DPMS requirements under IS 17428, they also cover the requirements of the ISO 27001/2, though the requirements are clubbed under less than 50 items.

It is for this reason PDPSI is considered as “Essence of the Essentials but different by far”.

( Continued…)


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Enhancing the Acceptability of PDPSI Audits

PDPSI is a unique framework for Personal Data Protection as per prevailing data protection laws.

Its 50 implementation specifications cover the data compliance requirements under multiple data protection laws and is more than what other best practice standards such as ISO 27701 tries to accomplish.

Some of the PDPSI model implementation specifications try to put certain best practices hither to not being part of such frameworks into the radar of the organization. Details of these are already available in the PDPSI handbook.

There are three other innovations that PDPSI has introduced and FDPPI has adopted in order to further improve the assurance of the PDPSI audits in the industry environment.

First is to register the audit with FDPPI along with the DTS computation worksheet so that FDPPI is aware of the PDPSI certifications that are in the market.

Second is getting a feedback on the auditee  including a permission if agreeable for disclosure of DTS.

Additionally, it is observed that after completion of an audit and its certification, the auditee often neglects to maintain the required data security discipline resulting in data breaches. At that time a question will be asked on whether the organization was audited, and if so whether the audit was deficient etc.

In order to make PDPSI audits more reliable, FDPPI will therefore introduce a system whereby the auditee will be required to send a quarterly report to FDPPI in which it will share any major incidents during the period and major changes in the business profile.

It is quite possible that the organizations may not send such reports in which case the responsibility of FDPPI would be reduced. If the organization considers it useful they may use this opportunity. In a way this will be like AMC service on the audit already completed.

FDPPI may charge a fee for such Audit AMC as it may deem fit.

Hopefully this would at least keep the need to be vigilant even after the audit certification will be ingrained in the auditee organization and this by itself be good for the auditee organization.

The details of the kind of reporting to be done etc are being finalized.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Upgraded Version of PDPSI

PDPSI framework has now been fine tuned with 12 standards and 50 implementation specifications.

FDPPI has concluded a training for Data Auditors who can provide consultancy on the implementation of Personal Data Protection in organizations and also certify the organization for compliance along with a DTS evaluation.

The framework incorporates all the best practices that can be expected in ISO 27701 and adds several improvements that are desirable and necessary in the Indian Context.

The PDPSI framework is a unified framework and provide compliance of multiple data protection laws on a single platform with necessary supplementary modules. Hence PDPSI-GDPR will take care of GDPR Compliance while PDPSI-IN will take care of Indian requirements. 

Organizations interested in PDPSI certification  or further information may contact Naavi through e-mail.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Self implementation handbook on PDPSI released

When Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 (PDPB 2019) gets passed in the Parliament, companies will be scrambling to get on to the compliance band wagon.

While there will be many job opportunities for Data Protection Officers (DPO) trained in data protection, there will be many SMEs/MSMEs, who will not be able to hire trained DPOs since there will be a great shortage of qualified persons who are aware of the Indian Data Protection Laws and are capable of converting it into implementation plans for the organization.

Naavi has already started Certification training trying to make people understand the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 and how it may translate into an Act. With Foundation of Data Protection Professionals in India (FDPPI), a not for profit company, Naavi has already launched a program for “Certified Data Protection Professionals”  in two modules namely a module on Indian laws and module on Global laws.  Naavi has also released a book which explains the Indian law as it is emerging.

Now Naavi has moved onto the next level of assisting the organizations on how they can go about compliance of the Data Protection Regulations through a framework that guides them through to compliance and prepares them to be certified as follows:

“Certified that …………………………..  (Name of the organization) has  satisfactorily implemented policies, procedures and other  measures to be considered compliant with the provisions of  ………… (Name of the data protection act such as GDPR, PDPA etc) ,  with a Data Trust Score of …….. (Assessment score) “

Naavi has been discussing the PDPSI (Personal data protection standard of India) over the last two years in this website and other conferences. Now the concept is explained in greater detail in an E Book. This contains the comprehensive standard for compliance of data protection laws which can be implemented by any Personal Data Processing organization by themselves with a reasonable assistance from their in-house information security or privacy aware professionals.

FDPPI which is the Certifying Agency under the standard is  shortly  conducting “PDPSI Consultant Accreditation Training” to equip data protection professionals to be fully conversant with the provisions of PDPSI and assist organizations that may need their help.

Consultants  may also conduct the audit on implementation already done by organizations with or without the help of other consultants and  issue Certificates of compliance if the implementation is found satisfactory.

These initiatives help companies to get ready for compliance as soon as the law gets passed.

The E Book above contains the 12 standards and 50 implementation specifications that constitute the standard along with details of the certification system and DTS assessment system. (P.S: The book does not contain templates of policies which are to be developed by consultants based on different implementation contexts).

The framework under PDPSI incorporates the best practices and includes the controls normally suggested under internationally used standards and makes several innovative improvements.

Organizations interested in using the PDPSI framework may contact Naavi through e-mail.

(P.S: Kindly note that this is an imitative of Naavi and FDPPI and does not have  prior consultation with or accreditation from any Government agency. After the Personal Data Protection Act comes into being, the Data Protection Authority is expected to publish norms for certification separately and this certification is expected to prepare the organization for the formal certification system that may be introduced by the Data Protection Authority in due course… Naavi)


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Standards under PDPSI

(Continued from the previous article)

At present, PDPSI is built on 11 standards. We shall analyze what are the 11 standards that comprise of the PDPSI and the implementation specifications associated with it and how they relate to the “Certification” process.

PDPSI has adopted the HIPAA model of “Standards” and “Implementation Specifications”.

By including implementation specifications in a statutory law, HIPAA made 7 standards without implementation specifications  and 23 Required implementation specifications as part of the legal prescription. At the same time it left 22 implementation specifications as “Addressable” meaning that the management of a covered entity can take a view on whether thee 22 implementation specifications need to be implemented and if so whether they can be implemented in a manner different from what is suggested in the law.

In other words, HIPAA prescribes 30 statutory prescriptions on how to safeguard the protected health information by the covered entities and 22 other guidance indications that are optional with the condition that if they are replaced with alternatives, sufficient justification has to be provided through documentation.

PDPSI is currently designed on 11 standards and 45 implementation specifications. But under PDPSI, the standards and implementation specifications are used differently from HIPAA. The PDPSI standards are defined for the conduct of PDPSI audit by a lead PDPSI auditor.

However the implementing company is provided with 45 guidance indications which can be used by the Data Fiduciaries and Data Processors. The documentation of whether these 45 implementation specifications are used in toto or some of them replaced with other controls and if so the reasons thereof, is addressed through one of the  documents namely the “Implementation Charter” which is one of the 11 standards recommended. The PDPSI auditor will evaluate the implementation of the 11 standards reflected in the 45 implementation specifications along with the logic presented in the Implementation charter on why one or more of the suggested specifications are ignored or replaced.

The PDPSI auditor’s responsibility is in verifying the implementation of the standards and the implementation specifications adopted in the Implementation Charter and provides his certificate on whether the implementation system is set to work reasonably. The implementation specification includes what may be called “Controls” in other systems .

While the Standards and the Implementation specifications are created by the PDPSI agency (except to the extent the implementation specifications are modified through the implementation charter), the controls are created by the organization themselves.

A few of the key implementation specifications are explained in the PDPSI specification itself to the next level where they become “Control Descriptions”. But most of the other specifications are left without the subordinate “Control Level Description” because it is felt that the industry already has many best practice alternatives for these specifications. The “Control Descriptions” which are provided as part of the PDPSI documentation are those which may not be commonly used by the industry.

To this extent the “Implementation specification with control description” is similar to the “15 Standards with implementation specifications” in HIPAA and the “Implementation specification without Control Specification” is similar to the 7 standards without implementation specifications in HIPAA”.

The structure of PDPSI will therefore look like the following.


…. To Be continued

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PDPSI Eco System

The National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) has issued the Health Data management policy which has been introduced over the previous series of articles. As per the document on the NDHM website, the Health Data Management Policy (HDMP) is the first step in realizing the NDHM’s guiding principle of “Security By Design” for the “protection of the data principal’s personal digital heath data privacy”. This acts as the minimum standard for data protection that should be followed across the board in order to ensure compliance of relevant and applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Participation of an individual or a medical practitioner or a health facility in the scheme is voluntary and the participants when they opt in would be issued a “Health ID” or “Digi-Doctor ID” or a Health Facility ID”. These IDs will be unique as long as the participants are within the system and if they opt out, they will be deactivated and in the case of the individuals may be deleted and erased on request.

 In order that the policy is complied with, it would be necessary for organizations to be compliant with the provisions of the policy along with the applicable laws. Presently, the applicable law is Information Technology Act 2000 as amended in 2008 which under Section 43A addresses the requirements of securing “Health Data”. However, the PDPB 2019 represents the “Due Diligence” and is recognized in the policy itself.

In order to enable organizations to  adopt to the compliance requirements, Naavi suggests the use of the “PDPSI” system which is being developed  in the context of  PDPA of India or PDPAI (Proposed). As we await the PDPB 2019 to become a law, we can apply the PDPSI to the NDHM policy implementation as is briefly explained here.

PDPSI stands for “Personal Data Protection Standard of India” and is meant to assist SME/MSME s to adopt PDPA (proposed) as also to develop a Certifiable standard along with an assessment system for Data Trust Score (DTS) evaluation.

After the undersigned presented the concept of PDPSI and DTS about 2 years back, the two systems have been widely discussed with the professionals associated with the FDPPI movement. (See www.fdppi.in for more information on FDPPI). As a result of these deliberations, the PDPSI has evolved along with the DTS system and these systems would be explained in a series of articles here.

The PDPSI Ecosystem

To start with, we need to recognize that the PDPSI is a complete ecosystem that supports the Organizations that require PDPAI (proposed) to be implemented in their organizations.

PDPSI is developed as a “Unified System” for compliance of multiple Data Protection regimes and is applicable not only for compliance of PDPA of India but also for GDPR or DIFC DPL, Singapore PDPA, CCPA or Brazil LGPD or any other data protection regulation.

Hence PDPSI is also ready as a compliance eco system for the NDHM-HDMP.

The PDPSI Eco system consists of Standards, Implementation Specifications and a DTS system.

The PDPSI serves the requirement of different types of users. The Standards are meant to be used by accredited auditors to Certify an organization. The Implementation Specifications are meant to be used by the implementers as a guideline for compliance. On the other hand, The DTS is meant to be used by Data Auditors who after their audit present their assessment in the form of a DTS.

PDPSI is meant to be used as a unified platform for multiple Data Protection Compliance. The DTS however has to be computed differently for different compliance requirements and therefore, DTS-In will be different from DTS-GDPR for the same organization.

We shall explore the concept of PDPSI further in the follow up articles.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Refer to the set of articles below

What is Pseudonymization Gateway

Governance and Implementation Structure under PDPSI-GDPR


PDPSI-GDPR the replacement for ISO27701


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment