DailyPost 676


Dialogue, the essence of any modern democracy, did not find its way into the world of data. Data was created, transmitted, stored and used depending upon the whims and fancies of the self styled owners. It was surreptitious world of data with a thin veneer of transparency, legality was not even in the imaginary realm. In common parlance it can called Data Held Hostage. With ownership undecided, the person who had the adverse possession became the owner. What a remarkable similarity between the virtual and the real world!

To what purposes data was being used, nobody had any idea. The PATRIOT Act post 9/11 gave unrestrained powers to National Security Agency of the US and other such agencies. While it was all in wraps, the world believed that data was being put to good use & that it also collected & intercepted for specific purposes. Edward Snowden blew the lid off in 2013 and misuse of data came out in the open. Privacy became an issue. The dialogue on data had begun. Old skeletons also tumbled out of the cupboard. How encryption was being stage managed by the US govt. through it’s agencies? The corporate reckless collection & usage was still to come out in the open.

This was a ubiquitous surveillance for different purpose. The European courts mainly German ones stated indicting & penalising these companies. They had become suspect. The Data Debate was raging. The European Union was first to realise the complete gamut of issue. It went through the whole legislative process, subtantiating the the purpose and utility of a such a law, through a well informed debate. The law is GDPR, the gold standard of data.

The utility of this law was validated by the debates following the Facebook & Cambridge Analytica leak. The icons of the Digital Age were the most opaque. The user was never engaged in a dialogue over the data and thus indirectly his fate. The Indian law is also getting evolved through the Dialogue process. Data Dialogue at a real time and dynamic level is our combined future, for our own safety.


Sanjay Sahay

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