My second op-ed on privacy, published in the August 20 issue of The Tribune. Original title: Digital Privacy and the Illusion of Choice. Link.
Unknown to many, the draft Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) and its harbinger the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are a crucial departure from how states have guaranteed privacy to their subjects. They mark a silent defeat against the pervasiveness of sensors that intrude our public and private lives, shifting the onus of accountability from the agents that produce to the agencies that consume.
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My opinion piece for The Tribune, published on 2 Aug, 2018. It’s an abridged version of my blog post, All roads of data sovereignty lead to a dystopia.
The draft of the data privacy Bill furnished by the Srikrishna Committee is an important first step in bolstering the digital civil liberties of citizens, but it cannot address the systemic weaknesses of cyberspace that are beyond the reach of any single government.
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad describes the creative principle of the universe as neti-neti — not this, not that. It hints at the subtle symbiosis, the fluctuating nature of opposing forces. Digitised information, too, complies with this inherent non-duality.
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Published by The Indian Express: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/when-code-is-law-digitised-data-leak-5168760/.
With the debate spurred by the revelations of Cambridge Analytica’s dealings with Facebook — and, closer to home, by Aadhaar — we may have to revisit the very foundations of the individual’s social contract with the state when it comes to privacy. Those familiar with the hacker counter-culture of the Nineties knew one thing — the most potent weapon of information warfare is availability.
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