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#NAMAprivacy: Consent and the need for a data protection regulator

In our other reports on the Consent panel at the #NAMAprivacy conference in Delhi, we look at whether we should do away with consent altogether, and ways of fixing consent. The alternative solution posited was that of having a privacy and data regulator, and a third option was the combination of having better consent norms, and a data regulator. But isn't regulation broken too? Chinmayi Arun, Executive Director of the Centre for Communication Governance at the National Law University, Delhi, made a case for paternalistic regulation, and not leaving everything to consent: "There is an information asymmetry problem, and sometimes users don't have all the information. There's a bounded rationality problem, where even if users are given the information, they're not able to process what they're told. There's also a predictability problem: a lot of the time technology companies are in a place where they have collected data but they also want flexibility to play with that data. They say that if we can't experiment, we can't give you new services. The trouble is that nobody is able to foresee what is coming and any harms that might emerge are of often invisible, and you're not able to create a link between the harmful impact and what you consented to. This is why regulations are not completely consent based all the time, and that is why there's a degree of paternalism, in which the state makes some decisions for you." In the Right to Privacy judgment, she continued, "Justice Chandrachud acknowledges…

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

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