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MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar pushes for a Privacy Law, says IT Ministry’s response in Parliament was “misleading”

Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar (on twitter), in a strongly worded letter to the Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, has said that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology doesn't have adequate "technical understanding on the need, scope and application of a privacy legislation" in the country, and the Ministry's response to a question he had raised in Parliament was both inaccurate and misleading, and that the Ministry's statement "circumvents the legitimate question regarding the need for a legislation to guarantee the privacy rights of Indian citizens." MediaNama readers might recall that Prasad had said, reading out the statement in Parliament, that Airtel had been injecting Javascript into users’ browser sessions via Flash Networks “solely with the object of improving customer experience and empowering customers to manage their data usage through suitable timely prompts in terms of volume of data used.” Chandrasekhar had asked about the enactment of a Privacy Legislation in Parliament, which the ministry had tried to evade by only saying that telecom operators are required to take steps to safeguard user privacy. In his letter to the minister, Chandrasekhar listing the gaps in the current legal data privacy protection framework, especially given that personal data of citizens will be stored in government databases, or in private hands. Among them: 1. Expansion of the Definition of Sensitive Personal Data Current rules identify "Sensitive Personal Data" as "passwords, financial information, sexual orientation etc.", which are inadequate. According to Chandrasekhar, other categories of information like mobile big data, M2M data,…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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