"Unfortunately, in my opinion, Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 has watered down this provision which allow the State to unilaterally infringe the Fundamental Right to Privacy in the name of sovereignty and security. Hopefully, the 32 wise men in Delhi will ensure that this right is not infringed. The State can take away your rights, only if it can ensure that it is doing so for the greater good of the public. It was a positive move on behalf of the State to make Aarogya Setu not mandatory.", Former Supreme Court Judge Justice BN Srikrishna said in Webinar on the topic "The Challenges in Personal Data Protection in the Absence of any Data Protection Law in India"
Justice Srikrishna had chaired a committee which had been set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in 2017 to study issues regarding the regulation of data protection. The committee had accordingly drafted the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018. However, a revised version was approved by the Cabinet Ministry in 2019 as the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, and this has come under criticism from proponents of Right to Privacy, with Justice Srikrishna stating that it had the ability to turn India into an "Orwellian State".
The webinar commenced with Justice Srikrishna underlining the importance of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. He then focused on the value of our personal data which was being monetized by e-commerce entities wanting to expand their customer reach.
The webinar was organized by Shyam Padman Associates.