21 June, 2021

‘They’ll Take Data, Won’t Ask’

Photograph by Amit Haralkar
‘They’ll Take Data, Won’t Ask’

Around the time the Supreme Court held privacy to be a ­fundamental right in 2017, the government had formed a committee of experts headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna to produce the framework for a law to address the question of who can access and benefit from the data of Indian ­citizens and under what conditions. It was on the basis of its report submitted on July 27, 2018, that the government ­introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019. Excerpts from an interview with Siddhartha Mishra:

How do you view the changes from your original white paper to the final bill?

The government has taken away safeguards suggested for access of data by ­government departments without the consent of the data ­principal (person to whom the data relates). The government by an executive order can say the data ­protection law cannot apply to a certain department. It means they just have to pass an order to take away all my data without my consent. This is...

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