Centre for Internet & Society

Privacy India invites individuals to attend “Privacy Matters”, a one-day conference on 23 January 2011 at the WB National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) Law School in Kolkata. Privacy India, Society in Action Group and the Centre for Internet & Society have joined hands to organize this.

The conference will focus on discussing the challenges to privacy that India is currently facing. The right to privacy in India has been a neglected area of study and engagement. Although sectoral legislation deals with privacy issues, e.g., the TRAI Act for telephony or RBI Guidelines for Banks, India does not as yet have a horizontal legislation that deals comprehensively with privacy across all contexts. This lack of uniformity has led to ironically imbalanced results. In India today one has a stronger right to privacy over telephone records than over one’s own medical records.  The absence of a minimum guarantee of privacy is felt most heavily by marginalized communities, including HIV patients, children, women, sexuality minorities, prisoners, etc. – people who most need to know that sensitive information is protected.

The emergence of information and communications technologies over the past two decades has radically transformed the speed and costs of access to information. However, this enhanced climate of access to information has been a mixed blessing. Whilst augmenting our access to knowledge, this new networked information economy has also now made it much easier, quicker, and cheaper to gain access to intimate personal information about individuals than ever before. As people expose more and more of their lives to others through the use of social networks, reliance on mobile phones, global trade, etc., there has emerged a heightened risk of privacy violations in India.  As privacy continues to be a growing concern for individuals, nations, and the international community, it is critical that India understands and addresses the questions, challenges, implications and dilemmas that violations of privacy pose.

Who We Are

Privacy India was set up in collaboration with the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS), Bangalore and Society in Action Group (SAG), under the auspices of the international organization ‘Privacy International’.  Privacy International is a non-profit group that provides assistance to civil society groups, governments, international and regional bodies and the media and the public in a number of countries (see www.privacyinternational.org).  Its Advisory Board is made up of distinguished intellectuals, academicians, thinkers and activists such as Noam Chomsky, the late Harold Pinter, and others, and it has collaborated with organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Download the poster

" Privacy Matters" Conference Agenda

Welcome: Rajan Gandhi
a.    Who is PI
b.    What are our objectives
c.    Why is privacy important in India

Keynote: Sudhir Krishnaswamy
11:30  11:45
Tea Break
Session I: Prashant Iyengar and Elonnai Hickok
a.    Personal privacy: Violations and Indian legislation that addresses these violations
  •     Case study: Nira Radia and wiretapping
b.    Informational privacy: Violations and Indian legislation that addresses these violations
  •  Case study: The proposed data protection legislation in India
c.    What is the existing vacuum in Indian legislation  concerning  privacy
Session II: Prashant Iyengar, Deva Prasad, Amba Kak
a.    Identity and privacy: why does it matter
b.    International approaches to identity
c.    The UID and privacy  

Tea Break

Open discussion and opinion sharing