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MediaNama Daily: On the future of anonymity and privacy in India

India’s tech policy experts on the future of anonymity online, upcoming events on the role of media you shouldn’t miss, and much more.

?If There’s One Story To Read Today  When Does Information Become “Private”? “I remember leafing through telephone directories which listed names, addresses, phone numbers of people,” recalled Pranesh Prakash, Co-founder of the Centre for Internet and Society, at our roundtable exploring user verification last Thursday. “At that point in time that was normal, there was no idea of that information being private. As we [society] change [with time], my mobile number becomes something that’s private. I don’t expect people to freely share my mobile number without asking me.” The roundtable explored the future of anonymity and privacy in India, amidst broadening government mandates to “verify” users online for security reasons, among others. The government is perhaps doing this to build an Internet where people can be held accountable for their actions. That’s a fair mandate. But, on the flip side, Indians could stand to lose a lot from having their actual identities publicly displayed online—ranging from free speech, to privacy, to anonymity. Or, as Executive Director of the Centre for Communication Governance at NLU Delhi Jhalak Kakkar put it, “the fallout of not having adequate anonymity [online] is, of course, the chilling effect on speech, particularly for people from marginalized backgrounds..[This impacts] Their ability to navigate the Internet, and really use it and leverage it for social benefit and good within their communities..The default has to be privacy, and disclosure of identity should be more of an exception [to the rule].” Read parts one and two of our series on…

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