2020 will be the year of Data Protection in India

The year 2000 was the year of the Cyber Law in India with the notification of the Information Technology Act 2000 (ITA 2000) in India.

Year 2009 saw ITA 2000 acquire a information security outlook with the amendments of 2008. That was when Section 43A, Section 72A, Section 67C, etc regarding data protection came into the law.

Now Year 2020 which was a special year marked for development by the late Dr Abdul Kalam, promises to be the year of Data Protection with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) expected to be passed some time in February.

As the year 2019 comes to a close, it is good to take a glance at what has gone by in Naavi.org and its associated activities.

When 2019 started, the draft of PDPA 2018 was already available for discussion and two notifications of the Government namely the Intermediary guidelines and Section 69 notification were under intense debate.

The year started with Naavi unraveling the “Data Trust Score Model” as a suggested methodology to make a quantification of the compliance status of a data fiduciary under the proposed PDPA 2018. The system was explained over a series of articles.

Naavi also placed some suggestions regarding the intermediary guidelines  including a system of “Intermediary Dispute Resolution Policy” to be voluntarily adopted by the industry like the UDRP/INDRP schemes for domain name dispute resolution.

January 10 was also a historic day for the observers of Cyber Crime jurisprudence in the country as TDSAT upheld the earlier adjudication verdict in the case of S. Umashankar Vs ICICI Bank.

In February, Naavi launched the Personal Data Protection Standard of India (PDPSI) in a bid to develop a open standard for compliance of PDPA.

In the month of March, an important one day workshop was held in Chennai on Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act. The Foundation of Data Protection Professionals in India inaugurated its Chennai chapter and Naavi released the print version of his book “Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act clarified”

In the month of April, Naavi expanded his thoughts on the PDPSI through a series of articles all of which are consolidated under www.pdpsi.in Naavi also announced his book on Personal Data Protection Act as part of his training program on PDPA.

In May 2019, a renewed fight ensued on Bitcoin which continued through out the year and may continue into 2020 also as the bill on banning bitcoin may come to the fore in 2020.

June 2019 saw some attention focussed on Cyber Insurance  which continued with a couple of visits to NIA for lectures and interaction with the Insurance industry practitioners.

July 2019 saw the controversial Shafi Mohammed order of the Supreme Court  on Section 65B referred to a higher bench and the continuation of the fight against Bitcoin. The Aadhaar Amendment Act was also passed during this period.

August 2019 saw Naavi.org highlighting the  Trans union-CIBIL take over and flagged the possibility of irregularities. This was also the month when India integrated Kashmir with the abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution.

September 2019 saw  the  setting up of an expert committee on Data Governance and a discussion on Data Productivity vs Data Security, Data Governance law vs Data Protection law etc. This discussion will gain momentum perhaps some time in 2020 when the committee would submit its report. The month saw a new thought on Data being brought into discussion by Naavi in the form of “Atomic structure of data”.

October 2019 was the time when Naavi espoused a new thought “The New Theory of Data” in an attempt to bring more clarity to the concept of Data as seen by a technologist and a legal professional. Based on three hypotheses of “Additive value”, “reversible life cycle” and “Data is in the beholder’s eyes” Naavi is placing before the academic world a thought for discussion which should be useful in future to interpret the data protection regulations and guide it towards a form in which different stake holders can understand the issues with better clarity.

November 2019 saw the announcement of an online course on PDPA by Cyber Law College which is a an important development defining the future course of education in PDPA. FDPPI also participated in the certification process of such programs both for offline and online programs opening up a new era in the Data Protection domain in India.

Finally coming to December 2019, we saw a revised version of PDPA being presented in the Parliament and referred to a select committee. The version now available on www.pdpa2019.in was the basis of the course which Naavi has been conducting now.

Thus 2019 has been an eventful journey for Naavi and 2020 when PDPA may become a law could be even more eventful.

Let’s welcome 2020 with the hope that  prosperity will dawn on the country.


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