HYDERABAD: After WhatsApp confirmed that various citizens including those linked to Bhima Koregaon incident were spied upon, city-based cybersecurity experts and privacy activists urged for a robust data protection law. Kiran Chandra, general secretary, Free Software Movement of India said, “The Supreme Court should take up the case suo motu since it was an infringement of our fundamental rights. If there was a data protection law, it would have surely helped citizens.” Chandra also questioned the government’s silence and urged it to publish a white paper.
Voicing similar concerns about the affected users, chairman of Global Cyber Security Forum, Sai Krishna recalled the compensation Yahoo announced a few weeks back for a 2011 hacking attack. Only Americans and Israelis will receive compensation even though all Yahoo users, including Indians, were affected. “This was because there is no data protection law in India,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Hyderabad-based independent security researcher was not convinced of the efficacy of the upcoming data protection bill — slated to be tabled in the Indian Parliament in December. “The Bill exempts the government from the ambit of the law. Unless you bring in the government, it won’t help. This is why we have been asking the government to ensure more transparency in the process,” the researcher said.