Protecting the data

Data protection is a growing concern now. When the locked down world is practically living inside the internet; when we are giving out more information than we should; I feel so insecure thinking that my privacy, which is priceless for me, might not be private anymore. To fight Covid, data collection of the infected individuals and that of the possible cases are inevitable. But, we don’t know how this data is going to be used in an ‘after Covid world’.

My friend Nithin Ramakrishnan had wrote an interesting article on the data protection scenario in India in connection with the Sprinklr data issue going on in the State of Kerala in India. He has rightly raised concerns over the lack of effecive data protection provisions in India. How far, our information available, in the servers of others, are safe? Isn’t it like keeping my valuables in the locker of another person? In my opinion, there is no effective law to protect one person’s private data in India.

Isn’t the issue of drawing a line between our privacy and public health be treated at least as important as showing the number of unfortunate demises, the number of infected, the curve and the peak. ? Isn’t it as important as the economy? Isn’t it more important than showing what the celebrities are doing in their homes during lock down?

There should be an active poltical involvement to educate the citizens- not mere political gimmicks. Actions should be taken for spreading awareness and holding public discourse on the topic of data protection. There should be positive steps taken to make individuals aware about their right to privacy and how the misuse happens. There are no active and effective awareness campaigns on how one should protect his or her privacy in the virtual world. The presense of large number of digital illiterates, demands, an active social movement in this regard.

We are proudly marching towards digitalisation, without teaching the masses what it is really about. My thoughts, my dreams, my conversations and my opinions are mine. I don’t want those to end upon the desk of an analyst working for an MNC or an election campaign team, without my voluntary consent. We should realise that, our data might be worth more than we can imagine. We need to protect the most lucrative commodity in the global market- “our data”. Like Stephane Nappo said, my “privacy is not for sale”.

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