Do we really have a Data-Independent / Data-Sovereign Country?
Bivas Chatterjee 15 Aug 2020

Do we really have a Data-Independent / Data-Sovereign Country?


It is accepted that Data is the ‘Air’ or ‘Oil’ of the modern ear. An individual, along with his biometric or other personally identifiable information or data, is represented by a Data packet. There are people who are called as data brokers who deal with (collect, package, and even sell out) different types of Personally Identifiable Information of us i.e. our name, picture, contact details, location data, race, sexual orientation, genetic information and face orientation etc., without our permission or knowledge though we own those data. Even the different e-commerce and social site companies are collecting, storing and tracking our data. Our every purchase, every journey, every likes and dislikes, hobbies, thinking and thus every part of our life are digitised, tracked and logged.

The corner stone of all the laws in the world is human dignity but the modern-day technology especially artificial intelligence, Big data analytics etc. have posed a great challenge to various aspects of social justice, especially in the field of right of privacy. A few years earlier an analytic company had shown the world the nightmare of data analytics. Online social media organisations are collecting our shared information and making our virtual identification and thus controls our independence, autonomy and human right. Can you imagine that a simple algorithmic failure will destroy or jeopardise our valued human rights.   



In Justice K.S.Puttaswamy (Retd) vs Union Of India, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, overruling Kharak Singh and M.P. Sharma, on 24th August 2017 delivered a historical judgement by observing :

Privacy   constitutes   the foundation of all liberty because it is in privacy that the individual can decide how liberty is best exercised. 

Individual dignity and privacy are inextricably linked in a pattern woven out  

of a thread of diversity into the fabric of a plural culture.

298.  Privacy of the individual is an essential aspect of dignity. Dignity has both an intrinsic and instrumental value. As an intrinsic value, human dignity is an

entitlement or constitutionally   protected interest   in   itself…………………”


The more data/ information one possesses, the more powerful he or she is in this world. Big data and analysis of the same with Artificial intelligence is now important part of cyber warfare of a country.  

It is alleged that our personal data, our important national security data might be at the hand of some foreign companies who are working at the mercy of some foreign nations, amongst whom there are enemy countries, as well.

As per section 70(1) Explanation Clause of Information Technology Act,2000: “For the purposes of this section, "Critical Information Infrastructure" means the computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which, shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety.



Like the terrorism in the physical world, nation’s integrity, unity sovereignty can be at stake if cyber terrorism is committed. The impact of cyber terrorism may be mightier than terrorism with AK 47 or RDX in physical world. Section 66F of the Information Technology Act, 2000 has given a wholistic idea of what is cyber terrorism.



The National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 envisaged for protection of national security in or through the virtual world. In the said policy, strategies were fixed for creating secure cyber ecosystem but there is every doubt how much of these strategies were implemented.

One of the objectives of the policy was as follows:

To enhance the protection and resilience of Nation’s critical information infrastructure by operating a 24x7 National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) and mandating security practices related to the design, acquisition, development, use and operation of information resources.”

Again, one of the strategies of the above policy was as follows:

To develop a dynamic legal framework and its periodic review to address the cyber security challenges arising out of technological developments in cyber space (such as cloud computing, mobile computing, encrypted services and social media) and its harmonization with international frameworks including those related to Internet governance.”

Present government is working on NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY STRATEGY 2020 (NCSS 2020), the Proposed vision of the policy “is to ensure a safe, secure, trusted, resilient and vibrant cyber space for our Nation’s prosperity” and has also come with Personal Data Protection Bill.

The question remains, when our valued data are at the hand of a foreign entities in this age of globalization, do we really have any control on our data or do we really independent in our virtual world. As today everyone has two-fold identities, one is physical and another is virtual. Hence, we need to be independent and sovereign in our virtual world as well.  I think there is every doubt……

Let us hope for the best. Let us celebrate our 74th Independence Day.

Did you find this write up useful? YES 0 NO 0
Anjay Malhotra   17 Aug 2020 9:01am
Sir as a government registere civil contractor i have executed some civil works in BSNL Gurgaon and Faridabad. All tge bills stands submitted and passed. read more

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