In the wake of the Supreme Court (SC) judgment on privacy
being a fundamental right, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said internet firms such as Google
that had access to user data
needed to respect the law of the land.
He, however, did not give details on the issue and what would happen if these companies misused data.
There have been reports about data theft
by which user details have been sold at a premium. Also in the case of mobile applications, users have to accept the terms and conditions of the app such as access to the camera, contacts list, and messages.
When pointed out that there had been instances of banks giving out customer information, the minister said no public sector bank had done that and if any private bank was found to do it, it would have to face the consequences.
The government has constituted a 10-member committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna, to deliberate on a data
protection framework for the country. The committee has held two meetings to discuss the issue. According to official sources, depending on the nature of the report, the government will take a call if there is a need for a separate law on data
protection or the IT Act
Sources further said the government, to demonstrate that it was serious about the matter, had asked smartphone players to share details about their security
architecture. The government is also probing the UC Browser
for sending user data
to a remote server.
The government will also strengthen the cyber laws
of the country.
Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has come up with a consultation paper on privacy, security, and the ownership
in the telecom
sector even as it looks to define personal data
and who should have ownership
and control when a customer uses telecom
Currently there are no guidelines on the use of data
by third parties and also who owns the data.
The Srikrishna committee will make suggestions on principles of data
protection and a draft data
“The government is cognisant of the growing importance of data
protection in India. The need to ensure growth of the digital economy
while keeping personal data
secure and protected is of utmost importance,” the government had said after forming the committee.