Privacy- why necessary
The technological advancements these days have encouraged the new business ideas as well as their implementations in the society and have accelerated the developmental process of the Nations but these advancements have also back pedalled the privacy aspect of the general public.
Privacy is an important aspect in one’s life especially when it comes to protection of personal data that is present on a virtual platform. Also, illegal extraction of the data by way of hacking or surveillance, either by the government or any private agency violates the personal rights of the individual.
Data of individuals form a blueprint of a nation and hence, it is compulsory to protect the same from various anti national elements that are present within the country or abroad. India has also recently introduced the Data Protection Bill in order to overcome the effects of data stealing.
Difference between private data and public data
Public data is something which does not require any special permission to access it and anyone can browse the same. Private data on the other hand is the data which is accessible to a particular group, community or even an individual.
Public Data is available on websites and open to all in public domain whereas private data is generally not available on a website rather it is present on a different password protected via logins and passwords known to concerned persons.
Public Data generally includes informative data which can be used by a large group of people and hence does not require any specific protection but Private data may include one’s own ideas, thoughts, believes and most importantly financial status which must not be revealed in the public and hence, is protected or encrypted.
It is evident that Private data must be secured in this internet era because it is essential not to disclose it. The wide spread growth of internet and its accessibility creates a problem securing this data and misuse of the same increase. Laws have been made and amended time and again for this very same reason.
The concept of data protection
Data Protection is basically the practice of setting up some rules and regulations in order to protect the personal information and make sure that the data is protected from external sources. The sharing of that particular data depends upon the owner or the handler of the data and no one can intervene in between.
The question here arises that whether the government should have the exceptional power to access the private data of any individual in lieu of National security or should it be subject to reasonable restrictions. These questions are decided by way of enactments by the legislation. It is worth mentioning here that since the technological advancements are developing with a pace, the laws need to be updated regularly and a particular existing law cannot meet the demands of the day.
Data protection laws in India
Before 2019, India was not having a proper legal framework as the IT Act, 2000 and the Personal Data Protection Bill of 2006 were not as good to fulfil the requirements since it was based on the European Union Data Privacy Directive, 1996.
The actual needs of the Data protection of the users as well as taking into note the privacy as a fundamental aspect, it was in 2018 that the Personal Data Protection Bill was introduced in the parliament.
Few important provisions introduced by way of the Data Protection Bill are as follows-
Section-14 states that the personal data can be processed only if mandated by any law made by the parliament or any order or judgment of the court/tribunal.
Categories of sensitive personal data have also been discussed under Section- 22 of this Act.
Protection of an individual’s personal data is essential in order to maintain the honour and dignity of that person and it is the duty of the Government to make sure that it is kept safe.
The online platforms which access the personal data of the persons such as whatsapp and Facebook must ensure that such data is not misused or sold to other agencies in contrary to the laws made in this regard.
Lastly, it is the duty of the citizens as well to make sure that they read and understand the privacy policies before agreeing to the same and keep their data safe. Also, they must contribute in the development of the national security by providing the data if asked by the government under any legal obligation.
“The views of the authors are personal“
Frequently Asked Questions
What is meant by Biometric Data?
Biometric data is defined under Section- 3(8) of the Data Protection Bill, 2018. It means facial images, fingerprints, iris scans, or any other similar personal data resulting from measurements or technical processing operations carried out on physical, physiological, or behavioural characteristics of a data principal, which allow or confirm the unique identification of that natural person.
It comes under the purview of Sensitive Personal Data.
What is the Liability of a Company if it commits any offence relating to data handling?
If any offence has been committed by a company under this bill, then according to section-95, every person, who at the time of commission of the offence was in charge of or responsible for the company affairs along with the company shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
What is the role of Data Protection Authority of India?
Section-60 describes the powers and functions of the Authority which are as follows-
- It is the duty of the authority to protect the data of the data principles and prevent any misuse of the data.
- Monitoring and enforcing the application of the provisions of this Act.
- Examination of any data audit reports submitted under section 35 of the Data Protection Act and taking any action pursuant thereto in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
- Monitoring cross-border transfer of personal data undersection 41 of this Act