Highlights four essential safeguards missing in committee's white paper on data protection
GN Bureau | February 9, 2018
Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker has appealed to justice Srikrishna headed committee on data protection for "strong recommendations and overall framework". Last year, the ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY) formed a committee headed by justice Srikrishna to propose recommendations on data protection and formulate a comprehensive legislation around it. The committee had brought out a white paper on data protection and had sought public feedback by January 31.
The non-profit which works for free software and open standards voiced its concern over a series of breach incidents wherein data related to Aadhaar was made public. Flagging its concerns towards a strong data protection framework, Baker pointed at four privacy safeguards which were missing in the draft white paper.
First is the exemption of biometric information from the definition of 'sensitive personal information'. "This is backwards, biometric information is some of the most personal information, and can't be "reset' like a password," Mozilla chairwoman wrote in a statement carried as an advertisement by some of the Indian national dailies.
Second, she pointed at the lack of meaningful consent in the very design of Aadhaar programme. "For example, by the ever increasing number of public and private services that are linked to Aadhaar without users being given a meaningful choice in the matter," she said. As remedy, she pressed for stronger consent, data minimization, collection limitation, and purpose limitation obligations.
Third is the broad exemption given to law enforcement agencies in terms of accountability and legal restrictions on how user data may be accessed and processed. The exemptions, Mozilla said, could have been narrow meeting the "legitimate needs of law enforcement".
Fourth, Baker underlined the doubts casted by the committee on whether individuals should be allowed a right to object over how their data is processed. "This is a core pillar of data protection, without a right to object, consent is not meaningful and individual liberty is curtailed."
"There is resounding support for privacy in India, and the Supreme Court has made clear that the protection of individual privacy and security is an imperative for the Government of India. We hope you and your colleagues in the Government of India will take this opportunity to develop a data protection law that strongly protects the rights of users and makes India’s framework a model for the world," she wrote.
Even as Unlock enters the second phase, the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise to record levels and India remains No 4 in the worldwide list, yet there is glimmer of hope: its recovery rate is also rising in tandem. There are 1,27,864 recovered cases more than the active Covid-1
A long-debated idea is finally coming to fruition as the Indian railways has decided to join hands with the private sector, in running some train services to begin with. The ministry of railways has invited ‘request for qualifications’ (RFQ) for private participation for operatio
Democracy in India is now taken for a fact, with an unstated assumption that all our institutions are democratic and hence often our successes and more often failures are attributed to ‘democracy’. However, a key frontier where democracy remains a challenge is that of local governments and that
India, facing China’s aggressiveness at border, has banned 59 smartphone apps, including TikTok, as they were indulging in activities harmful to India’s sovereignty and integrity. The reason cited was: “in view of information available they are engaged in activities which [
The launch of India’s first human space mission, ‘Gaganyaan’, will not be affected by Covid-19 and preparations are going on in the right direction even amid the pandemic. This was disclosed by minister of state (independent charge) development of north eastern region (DoNE
For all intents and purposes, India is going to reset its relations with China and a subtle hint to this regard has been given by the Narendra Modi government after the deadly June 15/16 night face-off between the Indian army and PLA troops in the Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.