Privacy cannot be shield of corrupt or terrorists: Prasad


The government would not allow corrupt and terrorist activities under the guise of privacy protection laws, Union IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.

The minister was replying to a query on the proposed Data (Privacy and Protection) Bill 2017 which grants a statutory Right to Privacy. It was reportedly put on hold after objections from intelligence agencies.

“On privacy, I have to say two things. Privacy cannot be the shield of the corrupt. And privacy cannot be the shield of a terrorist. Terrorists cannot say that don’t raid my house because I have got the right of privacy. Privacy limitations also should be understood,” Prasad said.

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court had last year declared Right to Privacy as a fundamental right. Prasad said the government had appointed a committee under the chairmanship of former Supreme Court Justice B N Srikrishna to study various issues related to data protection in the country and to make specific suggestions to the bill.

“Regarding the data protection law, I have set up a committee headed by Justice Srikrishna, a former supreme court judge. They are having widest consultation with the stakeholders and very soon he will come with a report. After that we will go for legislation,” he said at the presser held at the World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT) here.

The minister said the government aimed to make 60 million people digitally literate in the next two to three years and that “10 million people have already met the norms”.

“The aim of the Digital India is to bridge the digital gap and make technology more accessible, inclusive and affordable to the common people,” the minister said.

There is a clear need to re-skill people and equip them for the new digital challenges, he said while observing that “disruptive technologies” create more jobs than they take away.

Prasad said the future skills platform had identified eight disruptive technologies which had zeroed in on 55 job roles that will impact individuals, companies and governments.moneycontrol