Software Freedom Law Centre, India (SFLC.in), along with Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom (DAKF), is organizing a panel discussion titled, “Tech Policy Talks” on Saturday, June 3, 2017, from 10:00 -13:00 (10 AM to 1 PM) at IBIS Kochi City Center Hotel, Padma Jn., M.G. Road, Kochi.
The event will have the following sessions:
1. Proliferating Internet Access through the Kerala State IT Policy:
With its visionary State IT Policy of 2017, Kerala is on track to become the first state in the country to recognize Internet access as a basic human right. Initiatives like K:Fon, the state-wide optical fiber network that will provide free/subsidized Internet access to residents, promise to bring every household in the state online by the year 2018 so that they have easy access to government and non-government services delivered over the Internet. When considered alongside central government initiatives like the Digital India program, the State IT Policy and its vision could provide a crucial frame of reference to drive efforts at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy.Against this backdrop, this session will bring together a group of stakeholders to discuss nuances surrounding the State IT Policy and its rights-based approach to proliferating Internet access. Speakers will also take stock of increasingly frequent government-ordered Internet shutdowns that threaten to derail India’s vision for digital empowerment and growth, and discuss ways to reconcile legitimate security needs that drive such measures with the need for sustained Internet connectivity when it comes to meeting India’s development goals.
2. State of Online Privacy in India:
This session will take a comprehensive look at India’s current legal and policy landscape surrounding online privacy. The discussion will cover such topics as whether Indian citizens enjoy a right to privacy, the ways in which users’ personal information is harvested online, whether there are adequate laws to oversee the collection, storage and sharing of customers’ personal information by Internet-based corporations like Facebook and Google, whether India’s legal and policy frameworks in this regard measure up to global privacy standards, and how India’s current state of privacy protection shapes governance initiatives like the Aadhaar project. The session will lay special emphasis on gaps in existing privacy and data protection frameworks, and facilitate a collaborative discussion on steps that can be taken to fill these gaps. Emphasis will also be laid on privacy concerns surrounding the Aadhaar project, issues raised and arguments advanced by litigants who have challenged Aadhaar in court, as well as perceived shortcomings in the handling of citizens’ Aadhaar information by government agencies.