Improving data literacy among Indian citizens


According to a report by McKinsey, India will have between 650 and 700 million smartphones, with the number of internet users surpassing 800 million by 2023. This is not only indicative of the enormous scale of data collection that will follow, but also threats to privacy. this can lead to.

With the increase in data breaches across the country, data privacy has become the top priority for individuals and businesses. India is ranked third in the world in terms of the number of data breaches, with 86.63 million attacks through November 2021. Additionally, according to Israel-based cybersecurity firm Check Point, data breaches and cyberattacks are expected to increase in 2022 largely with the adoption of digitalization by consumers and businesses.

Last year, Air India witnessed a privacy breach where the personal details of around 4.5 million customers were compromised including passport, credit card details, dates of birth, name and ticket information. Dominos India witnessed data breach of over 18 billion orders leaked on dark web including order details, phone numbers, email addresses, credit card details , etc The list goes on, and data breaches also include government portals.

So what is the solution here? Before we dive deeper into the answers, let’s look at some of the privacy concerns arising from data collection, especially in the business context.

How to make Indian citizens aware of privacy issues

For citizens, data privacy is about setting necessary boundaries and keeping them safe in the digital world at all times. Failing to protect your privacy can not only be fatal, but can also give hackers a chance to misuse your data for fraudulent activities.

With the increased use of instant messaging platforms and social media platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, etc., people are more concerned than ever to protect their data.

To ensure information security and privacy, many platforms have released security features such as end-to-end encryption. However, governments around the world are pressuring internet companies to allow them access to these conversations – creating a backdoor for regulators and law enforcement to spy on conversations in order to shut down misinformation. and fake news.

Although some things are beyond the control of citizens, there are several ways for individuals to protect their privacy. Some of them include two-step verification, Touch ID or Face ID lock, platforms with disappearing messages, admin control, end-to-end encrypted backup and others.

Privacy issues and how companies can fix them

Some of the privacy issues that arise due to data collection include –

Companies need to be proactive in their approach. They should use tools and platforms that support their privacy policies. A good data strategy and staff training should be at the heart of the business, ensuring that all departments are data savvy and ensuring customer data is safe at all times.

Often, more devices result in more data. Businesses and individuals need to manage compliance and privacy of data from any source, different operating systems and multiple applications. Appropriate data governance procedures must be in place.

  • Increased maintenance costs

Investing in software and systems to secure and prevent privacy issues with your customers’ data can be expensive. But, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, it becomes important to automate processes and invest in tools and platforms that help reduce the number of data silos, eliminate friction points and manual processing, reduce the risk of human error, increase opportunities for deduplication, improve governance and control, reduce costs, etc.

  • The ever-increasing scale of data

With rapid digitization, alongside falling cloud storage and compute costs, businesses are swimming in data. The challenge of managing these large volumes of data is enormous. Therefore, it becomes important to develop a solution that can handle such amount of scale data.

Companies need to train their data science and IT teams not only to balance the value of collecting, storing, and processing large volumes of data, but also to understand the value of data and data privacy.

  • Get visibility into all your data

Businesses need to be aware of the location, nature, and sensitivity of customer data. Therefore, leveraging tools to discover and classify data becomes essential. This helps to protect sensitive data from any privacy issues.

  • A long list of regulations and documentation to follow

With so many rules and regulations to follow, tracking the data privacy you need to achieve for various data sets becomes cumbersome. Therefore, you can make it easier to manage the complexity of various regulations by automating processes.

Data privacy policies and rules

With privacy being the basic right of every citizen in the country, somewhere along the line it feels like it is largely compromised. Therefore, the right to privacy should be enshrined in consumer protection, IT, health and financial sector laws, among others, with particular emphasis on privacy and data protection.

Over the past few years, the Indian government has actively sought to crack down on data breaches and strengthen rules for holding sensitive data and laws against data privacy invasion. Some of the rules include the Information Technology Act 2000 (aka the Computers Act) and the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rule 2011 (aka the PSDI rules); Consumer Protection Act 2019 (CPA) and Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules 2020.
Apart from these, other policies and projects are still at various stages of discussion or implementation including the PDP Bill or Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019; the NPD Framework, also known as the Non-Personal Data Governance Framework; DISHA or Digital Information Security in Healthcare Act, 2017; National Digital Health Mission (NDHM); and Health Data Management Policy issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

This article is written by a member of the AIM Leaders Council. AIM Leaders Council is an invitation-only forum of senior executives from the data science and analytics industry. To check if you are eligible for membership, please complete the form here.


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