This is a rundown of last week’s news updates on Privacy:
Central Government addresses concerns about penalising export-import data publication
The Central Government had, through the Finance Bill, proposed the insertion of Section 135AA in the Customs Act which would make publishing of export-import data from the country, unless required by law, a punishable offence, with imprisonment of up to six months. Owing to concerns as to ambiguity in the type of data and whether publishing aggregate trade data would amount to an offence, government officials and agencies clarified that the amendment is aimed at addressing concerns of individual importers and exporters, and would not affect individuals or organisations publishing aggregate data.
Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Illegal Use Of Mobile Hacking Spywares
In a recent case, the Delhi High Court has issued notice on a petition filed against the illegal use, sale and operation of mobile spyware without license for the purpose of hacking and spying, thereby infringing citizens’ right to privacy. Justice V Kameswar Rao sought the response of the Central Government, the Delhi Commissioner of Police, Google India, the Cyber Crime Cell and other entities and averred that the unauthorized surveillance and accessing of stored data from the phones and other devices of citizens for reasons other than national security would be illegal and objectionable.
Central Government explains how E-passports will enhance data security
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently announced the rolling out of chip-based e-passports. According to External affairs minister S Jaishankar, these passports are being tested and will be rolled out in six months. The new passport jacket will contain an electronic chip with security-related data encoded on it for advanced security and convenience for citizens. As part of the advanced security features, the personal data of applicants would be digitally signed and encoded in the chip to be embedded in the passport. Any tampering with the same would be identified and will result in the failure of the passport authentication. The new booklet will be produced at the India Security Press in Nashik and the contactless inlays will be International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)-compliant.
Plea in Supreme Court on Pegasus seeks investigation into 2017 India-Israel defence deal
A fresh plea has been filed in the Supreme Court on the alleged use of the Israeli spyware Pegasus, seeking that the Court take cognisance of a New York Times report on it and order a probe into the 2017 defence deal with Israel. The report states that the Israeli firm NSO Group had for nearly a decade been “selling its surveillance software on a subscription basis to law-enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world, promising that it could crack the encrypted communications of any iPhone or Android smartphone”. The apex court appointed Justice Raveendran to oversee the functioning of the three-member panel of cyber security, digital forensics, networks and hardware which was appointed last year.
Authored by Rohan Jacob (Associate) and Parikha Rathi (Intern).
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