Today we launched a community, public interest project called, “Save Our Privacy” to assist an effort to put forth a model citizens bill on data protection that safeguards your right to privacy. This model bill titled as the, "Indian Privacy Code, 2018", has been drafted by a group of lawyers, many of whom made a joint submission to the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee on its call for comments on a white paper.
Given the concerns which have been repeatedly made on the composition, lack of diversity and transparency of this committee, as well as a larger lack of pace over the years on a privacy law we felt it was necessary to support a civil society project to build awareness on privacy and data protection in India. To start this process we sent an email to Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee with a copy of the Indian Privacy Code, 2018 and seven core principles.
Main features of #SaveOurPrivacy
The main features and goals of the SaveOurPrivacy website are explained below:
Call to action: SaveOurPrivacy has a simple call to action. It relies on public voices to put forward a demand to the Government to introduce a user right focussed data protection law in parliament hopefully in the monsoon session of parliament. This legal text should match the 7 privacy principles and the ideas behind the Indian Privacy Code, 2018.
Public awareness: SaveOurPrivacy will rely on a series of summaries on what a privacy and data protection law should contain in addition to a summary of seven core principles which should be at the heart of a data protection law. It will also explore holding roundtables and hearings in different cities as it believes the public is the principal stakeholder in the formation of a data protection law. The campaign will reach out to popular voices to broad base the issue and spur civic participation.
Transparency: The website seeks to invite not only endorsements but substantive comments on the Indian Privacy Code through an online tool that permits line by line, word by word annotations. This is to facilitate greater public and expert participation. The comments received will be published and all changes will be considered.
Collaboration: The model of SaveOurPrivacy facilitates organisational sign-ups and endorsements to the seven core principles and this is an effort to facilitate a draft law based on protecting the individual and her fundamental right to privacy. In addition to the online tools, pro-active outreach through in-person meetings and roundtables is intended. IFF is playing the supporting role of a facilitator to what we hope will be diverse voices of leadership on data protection and privacy.
We believe the Indian Privacy Code, 2018 even though a model draft that will change and become better in time, puts through a comprehensive statute, a user right focussed data protection law. This is a policy fix for the recurring concerns and controversies including issues such as Aadhaar, Cambridge Analytica, the Social Media Communication Hub and the Snowden revelations on mass surveillance. We believe that a data protection law that protects people should consider preventing any dilution to the right to information, reform state surveillance and interception of our communications, most importantly prevent the denial of legal entitlements and subsidies caused due to weak user rights.
As our world becomes more connected and digital, our personal data has immense power over us, it is time to give that power back to the people of India. We urge members of the public, experts, lawyers, technologists, startups and technology companies to support SaveOurPrivacy.
Link to our correspondence:
- Our letter to the Chairperson dated June 08, 2018 PDF
Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) is a non-profit organisation that supports and advocates for a free and open Internet. We are a group of volunteers from the SaveTheInternet.in movement. We come from all over India, from different backgrounds and fields, including technology, law, policy, design, journalism. We aim to promote the rights of Internet users – freedom of speech, privacy, net neutrality and freedom to innovate.
- Raman Chima, Trustee and Co-Founder (9717653293 [email protected])
- Apar Gupta, Trustee and Co-Founder (9990000256 [email protected]);
Internet Freedom Foundation online: