Technology and Governance

Law and Technology

A privacy and security nightmare

From its premature Cabinet clearance without any enforceable data protection framework in place, to its muddled approach to consent, in-built technologies of coercion leading to profiling and possible criminalisation of vulnerable groups, invasive information collection methods and mythicisation of the “infallibility” of the DNA technology — the Bill is a confused disarray of State arrogance fused with misplaced reliance on technology that’s still too nebulous for effective and wide-scale use

August 16,2018

Technology and Governance

WhatsApp ‘working to curb fake news’

The reply also highlights that WhatsApp will be bringing in fact-checking and fake news verification mechanisms to help people check the veracity of content on the platform.

August 11,2018

Law and Technology

Whither right to privacy?

Provisions that permit personal data processing without express consent are clearly overbroad in comparison to comparable frameworks such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brought forth by the European Union (EU). The non requirement of necessity and proportionality with respect to personal data processing by the State prima facie seems regressive and violative of the tests laid down by the Puttaswamy verdict.

July 30,2018

Human Rights

Food, not charity but entitlement

As the country makes progress at the cost of pushing the most vulnerable to the margins, the schemes like NFSA, MGNREGA have become the last thread for the survival of the poor. 7 out of the 12 starvation deaths in Jharkhand documented by the Right to Food Campaign were directly related to the problems with Aadhaar linking. Starvation deaths are not an aberration but an extreme manifestation of exclusions built into the system.

July 27,2018

Case update

File tax returns without Aadhaar

The Court has also directed CBDT to put forth an ‘opt out’ provision for the mandatory requirement of furnishing Aadhaar registration or linkage.

July 25,2018

Transparency and Accountability

Amendment to RTI Act will kill transparency

The proposed amendment in the RTI Act, 2005 takes away the independence of Information Commissions that have been conferred with the adjudicatory power to decide the appeals and complaints arise out of violation of the RTI Act and denial of the information, whatever may be the case.

July 20,2018

Freedom of Speech

SMCH: A full-scale surveillance state

The SMCH can reasonably be construed to be a surveillance mechanism encompassing the entire digital space, laying the groundwork for an information system where it only flows from a Statist source, with all dissenters silenced into fear of State sanction.

July 18,2018

Technology and Governance

Mahua Moitra’s writ petition against Social Media Hub

The petition contends that the SMCH aims at creating an advanced surveillance infrastructure via which the Government could “monitor” and “cut to size” all individuals who critique the government via social media, rather than its stated objective of being an analytical tool aiding the Ministry to gauge the effectiveness of its social media campaigns.

July 13,2018

Technology and Governance

Translating Aadhaar into constitutional claims

The judgment in the second longest hearing in the history of the Supreme Court will be an indicator of the apex court’s understanding in matters of data protection and security, while hopefully making a case for prudence in assimilating technology with governance, without altering the citizen-State relationship.

June 11,2018

Technology and Governance

Glitches in the matrix

Questions posed by petitioner Col Mathew Thomas — on security of the servers, access to data during de-duplication, extent of access to foreign agencies — remain unanswered.

June 11,2018

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