Sunday, April 24, 2011

Data Protection Authority of India

India has no dedicated data protection law in India. Further, we also do not have any data security laws in India. Even privacy laws in India are also missing. It is surprising how India ignored these much needed requirements for decades.

Indian government has announced from time to time about enactment of relevant laws to ensure effective privacy laws and data protection laws. However, till now no such laws have been enacted by Indian government. Rumours are spreading again that Indian government is planning to set up a three-member Data Protection Authority of India (DPAI). Among other things, the DPAI would monitor and enforcing compliance of the any future proposed data protection laws and to investigate any data security breach.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based ICT law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India, we have no “Dedicated” Data Protection Law in India. Even India does not have a Data Security Law and Privacy Law. This makes the sensitive information and personal details of Indian Citizens “Highly Vulnerable” to misuse, informs Dalal.

With the proposed use of Cloud Computing, Software as a Service (SaaS) and M-Governance by Indian Government, more “Privacy Violations”, “Cyber Security” and many more “Regulatory Issues” would arise in future. These “Initiatives” cannot succeed in India in the absence of adequate and strong laws in this regard, informs Dalal.

Another closely related issue pertains to absence of lawful interception law in India. Lawful Interception Law of India is urgently required, suggests Dalal. India is the only country of the World where phone tapping is done without a Court Warrant and by Executive Branch of the Constitution of India. Phone tapping in India is “Unconstitutional” and the Parliament of India has not thought it fit to enact a “Constitutionally Sound Law” in this regard. Even the Supreme Court’s directions in PUCL case have proved futile and presently the Court is dealing with the issue once more, informs Dalal.

The issues are not as simple as the Indian government is presuming. In fact, very complicated and constitutional issues are involved that must be addressed by enacting suitable laws in India as soon as possible.