Data protection and privacy laws in India – Everything you need to know

Indian organizations are facing a lot of problem due to the absence of a proper legislative framework to protect the data. There is a surge in the number of cyber crimes on a global scale.  India being one of the largest hosts of data processing, it is at higher risk of cyber crimes. Hence, there is a great need of data protection and privacy.


The data security council of Indian (DSCI) must strengthen the data privacy guidelines to prevent potential cyber attacks. The best solution comes from the legislative approach along with employee awareness. With increase cyber crimes, it is a high time to pay attention to data privacy in India.

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What is Data Protection?


Data protection refers to the set of policies or guidelines that seek minimum intrusion into the privacy of any individual through the usage of their personal data. There is no specific legislation in India dealing with data privacy and protection.


The Information Technology Act, 2000 contains a provision to prevent unauthorized use of devices and the data stored in them. According to this act – it is illegal to access unauthorized computers or data stored within them.


What are the Challenges with Data Protection?


Though the data protection law in India addresses various security issues and articulates the rights of individuals, it lacks a robust protection framework. There are several rules and guidelines such as – IT Act, Aadhaar Act, Right to privacy and Right to Information Act that govern the data privacy and protection in India.


Each of the above Acts seeks to establish basic protection practices in terms of collecting, storing and utilizing the data – while entitling certain rights to the data providers. Some of the challenges with data protection are –

  1. With the data growing exponentially over the last decade, organizations are at risk of data breach due to poor security practices
  2. Lack of security vulnerability patches
  3. Human error can significantly affect data and privacy
  4. The cost of maintaining data privacy is high


How to Overcome the Challenges of Data Protection?


Organizations should focus on data compliance and understand the legal basis of maintaining and processing the data. Data security is not just a compliance issue but is a great concern for the entire organization.


Cloud migration is likely to overcome the challenges of data privacy and protection. With the advent of technology, there is an increase in the adoption of cloud services.


Organizations need to implement adequate technical controls and identify the best practices to protect data. Here are some tips to overcome data security challenges –

  1. Make sure the cloud service provider has sufficient protection mechanism
  2. Create an access control policy so that only authorized users can access the data
  3. Ensure proper encryption of data so that no sensitive data is leaked
  4. Real-time security and monitoring of data




The lack of data privacy and security has become a major concern for organizations, especially the foreign IT companies that are doing business in India. The IT industry is sensitizing the government regarding the importance of data privacy.


With the new law introduced in 2018, organizations will have to handle the personal data seriously. Especially the start-ups whose business model is data monetization should make provision for storage limitation, data localization, privacy-by-design and string security measures.


The Indian laws seek to establish basic data privacy and protection practices through proper storing, usage and transmission of personal data.


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