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Cyber regulations, data protection need to be top policy priority for govts: Experts


Governments and policy makers should accord top priority to cyber regulations and data protection norms, where laws need to catch up with advancements in technology, cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal said. Speaking at the Cyber Security and Data Protection India Summit 2018, Duggal cited the example of Vietnam and said that it had proposed strong and somewhat-controversial law on cyber security including mandating data localisation.

“Vietnam has come out with a strong and controversial law on cyber security, which apart from other things, mandates data location and provides severe fines and penalties for people breaching cyber security. Those things are lacking in India,” Duggal said speaking at a session on ‘cyber security and data protection in the digital era’.

“Law is still far behind how the technology is moving. Cyber security regulation and strong remedies for affected persons will have to become top most policy priority for governments in coming times,” he said.

He noted that some regulators have already started to think about data protection. In April this year, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directed all payment system operators in the country to store data within India to ensure safety and security of users’ information.

Data protection and privacy has come under an increased focus amid the country’s ongoing digitisation efforts, and users’ rising hunger for data. There have been concerns over personal information being compromised with increasing use of biometric identifier Aadhaar in an array of services, as also data breach incidents in the private sector.

A committee headed by Justice B N Srikrishna (former judge of Supreme Court) set up in August last year to frame a new data protection law is on the verge to finalising its views. The panel is widely expected to submit its report soon.

The high-level panel, which draws its members from government, academia and industry, has been tasked with studying and identifying key data protection issues and recommending ways to address them.

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