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Social networking websites have taken the Internet by storm in today’s organic society. One such website, Facebook, with over a billion users has often been referred to as the ‘third largest country’ of the world. The rise of Facebook to soaring heights can be credited to first, the intensive monitoring of its users which enables the company to provide them tailor made services, targeted advertising and second, of course to Metcalfe’s Law, which in common parlance means that the more users there are on a social networking site, the more attractive it will be to people who are contemplating joining. In this blog post, I have tried to analyze Facebook’s privacy policies along the lines of the National Privacy Principles. These principles have been comprehensively dealt with by Justice A.P. Shah in his ‘Report on Privacy’, published by the Planning Commission of India. They also closely tie to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Privacy Principles and European Union’s Data Protection Directives.
Continue reading Privacy on Facebook: An Absolute Prerequisite
The second post in the two-part series on Data Retention laws in India and abroad, by Balaji Subramanian. The first part can be found here.
In Foreign Lands: US and the EU
Earlier, I’ve given a broad picture of the data retention scenario in India. Now, I attempt to draw a comparison between India and other, more “advanced” jurisdictions such as the US and the EU.
In the US, data retention is conducted voluntarily by service providers, without any statutory imperative. Several prominent voices from law enforcement have advocated the promulgation of laws that enable mandatory data retention and specify the duration, means and extent of such retention. However, these attempts have failed several times, with two federal Bills lapsing. Continue reading Data Retention Protocols: A Critical Appraisal of the Telecom Surveillance Apparatus in India and Abroad (Part II)
The following is the first in a two-post series by Balaji Subramanian on Data Retention, a second-year student at NALSAR. Balaji is quite interested in Technology and Cyber Law, and has worked on issues ranging from Cyber Forensics to Data Retention., interning with CIPRA at NLSIU and Tanikella Rastogi Associates on related issues.
Descriptively, data retention refers to the gathering and storing of information relating to subscribers’ use of telecommunications networks. This storage happens at a remote location, inaccessible to the user whose activities are the origin of the stored data. Typically, data retention protocols require the continuous collection of certain parameters from internet users and the maintenance of comprehensive records of user activity, in one form or another. Retention can be done at the ISP level, as a commercial decision on the part of the service provider, or at the regulatory level, as a national policy decision on the part of the State in order to achieve larger goals of law enforcement and public order. Over the course of two posts, I will attempt to construct a brief critique of the policies adopted, first narrating the Indian stance and then using contemporary global trends as a yardstick against which this stance can be measured. Continue reading Data Retention Protocols: A Critical Appraisal of the Telecom Surveillance Apparatus in India and Abroad (Part I)