A panel of experts to propose Data Protection Framework
A 10-member committee is constituted by the Government to propose an outline for securing private data in the progressively digitized economy and also tackle the privacy concerns and form safety measures against data breaches.The establishment of the panel comes on account of concerns over private data being compromised with the increasing usage of biometric identifier Aadhaar in a range of services—from filing tax returns to gaining government allowances.
The IT Ministry in a statement said that the panel of experts supervised by Justice B N Srikrishna—who is a previous Supreme Court Judge—will recommend a draft data protection bill.The committee that draws its associates from the industry, academia, and government will study and recognize important data protection concerns and suggest ways to deal with them.
An office memo given out by the Ministry of Electronics and IT stated, “The government is conscious of the rising significance of data security in India. The necessity to confirm the progress of the digital economy while keepingthe private information of citizens protected and secured is of utmost importance.” It also mentioned that the committee will make certain recommendations to the Government on values to be reflected for data safety in India and “also recommend a draft data protection bill.”
However, a timeframe is not been specified in the official note for report submission by the committee but said it will endeavor to do so “as quickly as possible.”The committee also includes Department of Telecom’s Secretary, Aruna Sundararajan; Unique Identification Authority of India’s CEO, Ajay Bhushan Pandey; IT Ministry’s Additional Secretary,Ajay Kumar; National Cyber Security Coordinator, Gulshan Rai; and IIT Raipur’s Director, Rajat Moona.
Even though the Information Technology Act provisions contend with data protection and cybercrime, but the surge in cashless transactions post demonetization in the country and agrowingdigit of commerce going online have demanded the necessity for a fresh gaze at the prevailing laws.Also, questions have been raised over privacy safeguards and data security after some websites of the state and central government departments were revealed to be presenting Aadhaar numbers and personal data of beneficiaries.
Around 115 Crore individuals have been issued Aadhaar and several government subsidies &schemes now command mentioning of the 12-digit identification number. Further, the biometric identifier has been made obligatory for applying for bank accounts and PAN.Moreover, Telecom regulator TRAI aims to initiate a conference on data security and privacy within the telecom networks, predominantly with reference to mobile apps tracking user data.