As per the report was given by The Times of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi had claimed in a closed-door meeting with al the global CEOs that there would be a balance of data security and privacy in the country by the government of India.
This ruptured a wave of alarm among several organizations such as IBM and Facebook in light of a clause in the Draft Privacy and Protection Bill highlighting Data Localization. Primarily because with a population of 1.3 billion, these tech giants enjoy the largest and the most focused market in India. With such amass population, these enterprises enjoy processing of large amounts of data from the Indian Nationals. With 270 million accounts in India alone apart from 190 million from the US, Facebook has the most extensive user base from within India.
A constant debate has followed the meeting even though a year has passed since Justice BN Srikrishna Committee’s report on the Draft privacy legislation.
The main highlight of concern here as pointed out by Kris Gopalakrishnan the co-founder of Infosys is not the argument of violation of privacy or not but the fact that ” Privacy is gone. Period”
Gopalakrishnan further elaborated his statement in a recent event at Bengaluru where he was recently appointed by the Centre to head a committee responsible for studying non-personal data and assisting the government informing the regulatory framework around it.
He said “You are being monitored whether you like it or not. Whether your details are linked to Aadhaar or not.”
He further explained that the matter of concern at this crucial time is not whether the companies are respecting the privacy of the users or not. It is instead the concern if they are using it unfairly. As he stated, “What we need is regulation to ensure that privacy is not exploited.”
With such complexities, it is not hard to label privacy as a myth. To argue that our data is safe and we are not under constant t vigilance is to live in the bliss of ignorance. Otherwise, in reality, privacy is more of a harbor that we have entrapped ourselves into.
As the debate over privacy goes on. In one such recent event, the startup founder claimed that “Your shopping history, email conversations, and browser history is out there for people to monitor. If you think about it, there is no privacy. Not at all.”
While recounting another event, the Founder elaborated “I was talking to a friend about taking a flight to Jodhpur from New Delhi sometime next week, and my browser was open. When I search for flight options now, the first option it shows is the flight from New Delhi to Jodhpur.”
Just a coincidental turn of events? I guess not. Considering there have been many other reports of such incidents such as the one with Amazon and Alexa allegedly eavesdropping on conversations as highlighted in recent reports.
Thus with the advancements of technology, the most apparent drawback is the breach of privacy as the more intelligent it is becoming, the more capable it is in capturing data in the sneakiest way possible. The fact that all our devices, including our browser, are spying on our data is a picture we want to close our eyes to. However, there is no way we can stay safe, as said by another media personal “There is no escape. You leave your digital footprint wherever you go, and it is not something you can escape from.”
In recent times, there are no hindrances for companies in hoarding our information, but this has to come to an end soon enough. As pointed by Gopalakrishnan, “Right to privacy is about the right to proper safeguards. There should be a mechanism, and that is what is now required. We should ensure that this (misuse) does not happen.”
Because after all, “Who would you trust, a private company or the government, which you elected?” he asked?”