Balance between people’s right to privacy and the need for regulation

Contact Counsellor

Balance between people’s right to privacy and the need for regulation

  • Stressing the need for an overhaul of the legal structure to tackle the threat of cybercrimes, Union Minister said a consensus on striking a balance between the people's right to privacy and the need for regulation to protect their right to live in a peaceful manner was now emerging in the country.


The Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology was speaking at the second national conference on "Cyber Crime Investigation & Digital Forensics" organised by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

  • He further said that Incremental change will not help, the change has to be substantial, significant, fundamental and structural."
  • The area that needs balance: conflict between the two demands of the right to freedom of expression and right to privacy.

Current scenario

The post-COVID world had changed so much fundamentally that the balance was now coming in the thought process of societies. In South Korea, Australia, every State of the U.S., and the European Union, a large number of legal and societal interventions were today happening in a bid to bring about a balance between the right to privacy and the need for regulation. In India, a consensus on the issue was emerging and that would propel the country towards a new legal structure, which had to be dynamic, in tune with the times, and addressed the aspirations of the coming generations, keeping people safe, social media accountable, and the fraudsters away. All those things were part of the big regulatory structure which needed to be overhauled.

Malignant intrusion

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The use of technology had enhanced productivity, efficiency, and convenience. However, simultaneously, the possibility of someone intruding into our lives has increased manifold. Mostly it is with the aim of gaining information or most of the time, committing fraudulent activities.

  • The issue had to be tackled on five fronts: legal structure, technology, organisational measures, capacity building and mutual cooperation among the countries and agencies.
  • On the technology front, crimes perpetrated by technology would have to be countered primarily by technology. -Young college students, engineers and scientists would have to come up with solutions, whether by using blockchain technology, encryption, extremely good firewalls or a way of isolating infrastructures from possible cyber threats.

Initiatives are being taken by the government to enhance cyber-security in India:

  • Information Act, 2000: The Information Act, 2000 (amended in 2008) is the primary law for dealing with cybercrime and digital commerce in India.
  • National Cyber Security Policy, 2013: The policy provides the vision and strategic direction to protect national cyberspace.
  • The CERT-In (Cyber Emergency Response Team – India): CERT-In has been operational since 2004. It is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.
  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C): The Union Government has decided to set up 14C. It will be an apex coordination centre to deal with cybercrimes.
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra: Launched in early 2017, the Cyber Swachhta Kendra provides a platform for users to analyse and clean their systems of various viruses, bots/ malware, Trojans, etc.
  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, launched the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative to spread awareness about cybercrime and build capacity for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.
  • The Cyber Warrior Police Force: In 2018, the government announced its plans to introduce CWPF. It is proposed to be raised on lines of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF).
  • Cyber-Crime Prevention against Women & Children’s Scheme: Implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the scheme aims to prevent and reduce cyber crimes against women and children.

Suggested measures

Public infrastructure like railway systems, power systems, the energy sector and vital installations were the possible targets, which had to be thwarted legally and technologically.

  • At the organisational level, may it be a family, small business, large corporation or government department, the stakeholders should be aware of the ways to protect cyberspace. This required continuous training.
  • There is a need for capacity development in terms of cybercrime investigations, digital forensics, law, technology, and security as an overall umbrella. This process had to be continuous. Institutions like the National * Forensic Sciences University played a major role in this regard.
  • In order to effectively investigate cybercrimes, mutual cooperation between the countries and various organisations was required.

Exam track

Prelims take away

  • National Cyber Security Policy, 2013
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra
  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat
  • Cyber-Crime Prevention against Women & Children’s Scheme
  • The CERT-In (Cyber Emergency Response Team – India)
  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)
  • Information Act, 2000
  • Types of cyber attacks

Mains track

Q. “Digital India requires a strong focus on cyber security.” Discuss the challenges faced by cyber security and suggest ways to increase cyber expertise in India.