154% jump in LS questions about digital privacy: report

NEW DELHI: There is a 154% increase in questions about digital privacy in Lok Sabha since 2014, says a report on cyberspace issues discussed in Parliament over the past five years.

The 2019 report, Digital Rights in the Parliament of India: five years under review, which he studied at 16 ° Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, was recently presented by a global defense organization that promotes human rights in cyberspace.

Experts believe that the sharp increase in privacy-related questions reflects the interaction between security and data, especially when millions of Indians moved online on their mobile devices due to low data rates.

Raman Jit Chima, director of Access Now Asia Pacific Policy, told TOI that the purpose of the report is to promote dialogue on digital rights. It is a general perception that our parliamentarians do not get involved with problems related to digital rights. This report discredits that belief. Conversations about cyberspace, including areas such as privacy, take place. But for some reason, these discussions do not translate into final reports, he said.

Chima believes that documenting the problems will lead to greater awareness and, therefore, will encourage people to hold governments accountable for the steps they take to ensure fundamental rights such as privacy.

The report also highlights that the discussion about digital rights is often problem-based. In each parliamentary session, a brief list of issues became the focus of the inventions, the report notes, adding that network surveillance and neutrality dominated the budget session in 2015, while the 2016 and 2017 budget sessions They were dominated by Aadhaar and his privacy concerns.

According to the report, Lok Sabha is more active in the discussion of digital rights. There were a total of 19 private member law projects on digital rights, including 15 in the LS and 4 in the RS, presented during the five-year period, he said, adding that Lok Sabha shows more interest in surveillance and espionage .

In the last 10 years, there were only 13 questions in the SR about surveillance and espionage, in contrast to Lok Sabha, where 91 of those questions were raised, the report said.

The researchers who compiled the report said that mostly three standing committees (IT, Home Affairs and Finance) deal with issues related to cyberspace. It concludes on a positive note, but it also has a council for the ruling government. India can serve as a positive trend marker for the development of rights-friendly frameworks in the regions, and possibly around the world ... Digital rights issues were part of existing manifests is a promising sign, he said, and added that the Standing Parliamentary Committee on IT should function as a guardian of government policy on digital rights.