India lacks such an institutional mechanism. An explicit law on privacy would be the place to create one.
The law is required not only in relation to the state but also vis-à-vis commercial entities, which collect tonnes of personal data.
Absence of a law that calls for protection of the data they collect and for its benign use is not so much a void as a pit full of unknown menace.
India needs a privacy law not just to hold harm at bay but also to benefit from the world’s personal data, to corner a chunk of the huge, emerging data processing business.
Personal data from other countries will not flow to India to be processed here, if India does not have a specific law on data protection and if the law is not in line with similar laws in the countries from where the data comes.
Artificial intelligence depends on self-learning algorithms applied to reams of data.
If India is to be a vibrant member of the world of knowledge, it must have the capacity to handle zetta bytes of data and laws to protect them.
Time we focused on this, moving on from an existential debate on the right to privacy.
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