[Answered]“A data protection law is needed more than ever in the recent times.” Do you agree?

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual Introduction.

Body. Why data protection law is needed?

Conclusion. Way forward.

Data protection is must in the age of digital era. With right to privacy being a fundamental right and recent rise in risks to privacy of the individuals, data protection law is need of the hour. The the state must prevent and investigate digital crimes, prevent misuse of data and encourage data security through legislation.It is important to examine and put into place a robust regime for data protection. The creation of such a regime requires a careful and sensitive balance between individual interests and legitimate concerns of the state.

Need for Data Protection law in India:

  1. For efficient management of data in the age of digitisation, a data protection law is needed. One of the major challenges to big data is information privacy which necessitates a robust data protection.
  2. To check unauthorised leaks, hacking, cyber crimes, and frauds. Economic cost of data loss/theft is high. Recent rise of crimes like WhatsApp Pegasus scam demands a data protection law in place.
  3. Large amounts of personal data have been collected by state agencies and private companies and their flow across national boundaries has been a cause for concern.There are many instances that the state and private agencies who are using the personal data are not transparent on the purpose for which the data is being utilised.
  4. Until now, the only legal framework for the information technology in India is the Information Technology Act, 2000. However, it doesn’t provide for guidelines or norms for data collection, storage, and processing.
  5. The need for legislation also got attention particularly after the landmark judgement of Supreme Court (SC) in Justice K.S Puttaswamy vs Union of India case, that maintained the right to privacy as an inherent part of the fundamental right under Article 21 of the constitution.
  6. To improve business process, and for securing digital transactions and addressing customer and privacy protection issues.
  7. With a billion population, India has the second highest internet user base in the world. India has 450 million internet users and expected to increase up to 730 million by 2020.Therefore, a strong data protection law is needed to protect their personal data.
  8. Privacy is the constitutional core of human dignity. Privacy has both a normative and descriptive function. At a normative level privacy sub-serves those eternal values upon which the guarantees of life, liberty and freedom are founded.
  9. To curtail the perils of unregulated and arbitrary use of personal data. As most of the servers like Google, Facebook is outside India.
  10. It is important to strike a right balance between digital economy and privacy protection. The law should encompass all the aspects- data collection, processing and sharing practices.

Privacy of individual is important for which data should be secured. A firm legal framework for data protection is the foundation on which data driven innovation and entrepreneurship can flourish in India. Thus a data protection law must be put in place.

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