Is Indian Government Serious About Privacy Laws In India?

Is Indian Government Serious About Privacy Laws In IndiaPrivacy laws in India are still missing despite many years of deliberations and ground work. It seems the political will is missing to formulate and enact a suitable privacy law for India. Rather it has now appeared that Indian government is deliberately avoiding passing of privacy laws for India as that would go against the e-surveillance projects that are presently operating in India in an unregulated and illegal manner.

For instance, 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 are blatant violation of privacy rights of Indian citizens. None of them are governed by any legal framework and none of them are under parliamentary scrutiny.

From these illegal and unconstitutional projects one thing is for sure. Privacy rights in India in the information age are not at all respected by Indian government. Rather Indian government is more interested in violating these privacy rights to the fullest possible extent. Even the parliament committees appointed in this regard are unable to anything except slamming the Indian government for its inaction and indifference.

Recently the intelligence agencies of India objected to some provisions of the proposed privacy law of India. This is the main problem with Indian approach towards privacy rights. Firstly, Indian government is not interested in enacting privacy law. Secondly, even if some inclination in this regard is shown, we have many agencies and departments that are more than happy to thwart any such legislative exercise.

Indian government must be serious about privacy rights of Indian citizens. The privacy and data protection rights in Indian cyberspace deserve a special attention. The sooner privacy law is enacted the better it would be for the larger interest of India.

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