"There are many aspects as to why personal data should be protected. First is the identity and the profiling of the person, second aspect which is equally important is the commercialization of the data which could be leaked out. The third aspect is the surveillance aspect of the data, if the state uses the data in certain cases for surveillance for minority or certain other groups, is it ethically or provisionally correct or not. Today the challenges to the data protection framework are many fold. The first is the diversity of the country; when we talk of diversity we just don’t talk about seniors or the illiterate section, but we also talk about communities and demarcations on the socio-cultural aspect of a country. So it is very important for the data protection law to address this demarcation of the country in order to come up as a holistic framework.
The second issue which I am worried about is the consent and the notice part. If I am intelligent enough to understand a document and ready to give my consent, would an intellectually weaker individual able to understand to those same conditions just like me and give his consent? The Whitepaper on Data protection also talks about sending a notice to everyone. Now in which language would the notice be sent, through which channel it will be circulated, such things should be addressed first.
The third thing is how many of us understand that when we talk of data, it is not just about data that is getting captured but also the data that is being stored, processed or transitioned. So imagine there is this whole pipe where you put your data and anybody can drill into it to steal any data. How you as a citizen get to know that?"
Professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration
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