Macro/Finance Group, NIPFP

Towards a privacy framework for India in the age of the internet

Towards a privacy framework for India in the age of the internet, Vrinda Bhandari and Renuka Sane. NIPFP Working paper 179, October 2016.

Over the last decade, there have been vast improvements in surveillance technology and the availability, storage, and mining of personal information online, supported by developments in big data analytics. This has created a public policy conundrum over balancing the benefits of big data with the threat to the right to privacy. In an environment of pervasive surveillance and intrusive technology, there is a need for improved protection of privacy rights through a mixture of legislation and regulation, and building public awareness and demand for safeguards. This paper makes a case for the need for privacy from both the State and the private sector, examines the jurisprudential development of the right to privacy in India, and lays down privacy principles, that will underlie any proposed privacy law. It then evaluates the Indian IT Act, and the recently legislated Aadhaar Act, against the proposed privacy principles.