Privacy Protection requirements are important for both Individuals and Organisations alike. There have been many attempts in India to formulate a dedicated Privacy Protection Law in India but all of them have failed so far. Thus, Data Protection Laws in India and Privacy Rights in India are still deriving their legal recognition from scattered provisions under different Indian Legislations.
One area where the Privacy and Data Protection are absolutely missing in India pertains to Cyberspace. Privacy Rights in India in the Information Age are absolutely missing in India. On the contrary there are “Fully Functional E-Surveillance Projects” that are “Actively Violating Privacy Rights” of Indian citizens.
For instance, India has launched Projects like Aadhar, National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Central Monitoring System (CMS), Centre for Communication Security Research and Monitoring (CCSRM), Internet Spy System Network And Traffic Analysis System (NETRA) of India, etc. None of them are governed by any Legal Framework and none of them are under Parliamentary Scrutiny.
This position is not only in active violation of protections conferred under the Constitution of India but they are also violative of the recent United Nations (UN) Draft Resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age. Of course, a provision has been suggested in the proposed Privacy Law of India that Illegal Phone Tapping in India may attract Rs 2 Crore Penalty.
However, the same is just a proposal as till the Privacy Law is actually brought into force, everything remains on the “Governmental Dreamland”. Further, the proposed Privacy Law of India is already facing Obstacles laid by the Intelligence Agencies of India. The study titled Lawful Interception- A Mounting Challenge for Service Providers and Government (PDF) provided by Frost and Sullivan has shown that Governments around the world are indulging in Unregulated and Unconstitutional E-Surveillance and Eavesdropping activities.
The status of poor Privacy and Data Protection Legal Environment in India has also been reflected in the Cyber Law Trends and Developments of India 2013 (PDF), Cyber Security Trends and Developments in India 2013 (PDF) and Cyber Forensics Trends and Developments in India 2013 (PDF) provided by Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB).
India must not only enact dedicated Privacy and Data Protection Laws but it must also formulate E-Surveillance Policy of India and Indian Encryption Policy. As on date the Privacy and Data Protection Aspects in Indian Cyberspace are in really bad shape.