The Problem With Data Privacy Landscape Of India

Riya SethiThe boring Quarantine time has made us stay glued to cellphones. Irrespective of age and gender, all are being so much attached to the smart world be it to work from home, play games, shop online, post Instagram stories, create TikTok videos, and so much more. This in many ways is leading to largest consumption of mobile data. Indians are increasingly leaving their digital footprint on all possible platforms. With more and more people logging themselves in the online network, it has become easier for organization/individuals to steal our personal information, financial data, Aadhar, and PAN details or any other information that we may have registered on the online portal.

Data breach has become a common concept in the country and with the lockdown it has exponentially increased. Where even the government does not pay heed to the privacy issues prevailing in the system, due to so many other crisis it has to take care of.

“Even before all this there was immense issues with data related issues like the government had given over 85 private companies and 32 government entities, access to the public's vehicle registration numbers and driver license information,” , Nitin Gadkari, road highways and transport minister revealed in the Rajya Sabha.

Furthermore, Aadhar-card-related data leaks also had become a norm and every other day there is some news about Aadhar data leakage. Such a loophole in the system wherein the government does not respect a person's privacy even after recognizing 'Right to Privacy' as a fundamental right leaves the people worrisome about data loss and privacy violation.
According to a report by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), the second most cyberattacks that happened worldwide were in India. The current landscape of data privacy in the country calls for a strict and firm data protection law to regulate the use of data which will give the citizens a sense of security and they will no longer have to worry about the unauthorized collection of their information.
The major aspect of concern is online classes and video conferences for works. The most used app Zoom has been recently reported for its glitch in terms of data security.

Zoom's ease of use has made it easy for troublemakers to steal data from open Zoom meetings. Information-security professionals say Zoom's security has left a lot of holes open. Those holes are quickly being patched, but new ones continue to appear.

There's also been a lot of scrutiny about Zoom's privacy policy, which until recently seemed to give Zoom the right to do whatever it saw fit with any user's personal data, and its encryption policies, which have been more than a tad misleading.

How to Keep The Data Secure?
Invest in paid software and VPN
Get rid of unused services
Check if you are being tracked
Control social media information
Review App Permission

However, the majority of the population remains unaware of the consequences of data leakage and goes on about sharing their personal information on any online platform. In fact, according to a survey conducted as many as 7 out of 10 users in India had no problem with sharing their personal information in exchange for a price.

The issues of data privacy prevailing in the Indian ecosystem need to be addressed and the government should come up with a dedicated law for data protection.

Moreover, consumers should be made aware of the consequences that can occur due to the irrelevant sharing of personal important data.

• India looks to legalise a Personal Data Protection Bill (DPB) to control, the collection, processing, storage, usage, transfer, protection, and disclosure of personal data of Indian residents.
• With the country adhering to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is planning to add certain rules in the new DPB.
• The new law will give the country's population more power over their data but will exempt the government from the rules.