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Indian Government’s DIKSHA app under scrutiny for alleged breach of children’s data

The report of a breach of student and teacher data had come after another in 2019 on third-party access to children’s location data

school, student, children, education

What’s the news: Initiate an inquiry against the alleged breach of personal data of millions of teachers and school students by the Indian government’s DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing) app, the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) urged the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on February 15, 2023. Referring to a WIRED report on the exposure of teacher and student data, the IFF asked the NCPCR to recommend remedial measures to safeguard children’s data and prevent leakage of personal data. “Unbeknownst to the parties tracked, complex algorithms are in use to sweep through the data pool and bring to use the data collected in many unimaginable ways. The children and their parents are deprived of the opportunity to make informed decisions about such data sharing,” wrote the IFF in an open letter. Is DIKSHA in violation of the Puttaswamy judgement? According to the IFF, this breach of students’ privacy also violates the K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India Supreme Court judgement by failing to secure the privacy of children, “who lack the legal capacity to give consent.” “The draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022, in its current format, continues to suffer from inadequacies, rendering it incapable of protecting the sensitive personal data of children,” wrote the IFF. A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report called “Indian Government App Exposed Children’s Personal Data: A Rights-Respecting Data Protection Law Urgently Needed” even said that the government’s 2019 version of the Bill too failed to protect children against data vendors, insecure…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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