Panel members

Public Discussion on Privacy & Data Protection: The Road Ahead

Date: 18 December 2017

Venue: Hotel Avenue Center, Kochi, Kerala, India

People in attendance: ~70


Key Note

Speaker: Justice A. K. Jayasankaran Nambiar, Judge, Kerala High Court

Content: Justice Nambiar spoke about the historical evolution of privacy and the need to have a public consultation before laws are formulated. He was highly critical of a rights based approach to law-making. He prefers a model based on the ancient Indian concept of Dharma. He said that problems are arising in the legal system because of a selfish approach that is promoted by rights based models that have been imported from foreign jurisdictions. In his view, following a model based on duties would solve various societal issues.



Speaker: Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director,

Content: Prasanth spoke about the European data protection framework which often serves as a point of reference for legislators. He explained the current status of privacy and data protection in India, the need to have a data protection law in India, and what such a law should consist of. He introduced the public to terms such as data controller and data processor, and the nine-member expert committee’s white paper on data protection framework in India.

Panel Discussion


  1. Dr. Joseph Francis, Assistant Professor, Rajagiri School of Business

  2. Mr. Jayarishnan Kurup, CEO, Xtend technologies

  3. Mr. Raghul Sudheesh, Editor-in-Chief, Indian Jurist

Moderator: Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director,

Content: The panel discussed specific issues of data protection such as consent, notice, sensitive personal data, right to access, right to rectification, enforcement models, accountability and enforcement tools, data breach notifications and categorization of data controllers, among others. The panelists spoke about the need to have a data protection law that takes into account both the rights of the people and the costs of compliance so that it does not overburden businesses. People raised various questions about Aadhaar, cyber security, collection of their data by apps, theft of their data from devices and issues with legal compliance to data protection requirements. The discussion occurred in English and Malayalam.


The panel discussion was followed by a dinner.

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