There is no denying the fact that data is the new oil of the new economy. Hence, every stakeholder is specifically interested in accessing users' data for monetisation. In this context, the Indian nation appears to be a more fertile market. India today is a growing population that is increasingly jumping on to the digital bandwagon. India does not have any dedicated law on privacy. It is even though the Supreme Court, in the landmark case of Justice Puttaswamy vs Union of India, has already recognised the right to privacy as a fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution. However, in the absence of a direct legal provision on privacy protection, one has to look at other available legal provisions.
The Indian cyber law is not adequate for the moment, and long outdated as the same has not been amended since 2008. The recent actions by intermediaries like WhatsApp demonstrate the urgent need for amending the information technology Act. The Indian law on intermediary liability also needs to be made far more stringent. India needs to come up with strong legal frameworks to protect the interest of its users. The government also needs to act quickly and develop strict rules and regulations under Section 87 of the IT Act to protect intermediaries' users and data service providers' various services. With the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, being awaited and expected to provide remedies for cyber data generators, users need not keep on waiting for the said law. It is imperative that they exercise due diligence and must do all in their power and possession to protect their data and personal privacy from various stakeholders. The government needs to take the WhatsApp incident as a wake-up call and quickly galvanise into action.
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