Personal Data Breaches Courtesy Cybercrime on the Rise!

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  • Almost exponential growth reported on account of cybercrimes will send an alarm to the law enforcing agencies for the sheer scale with which the gullible and unsuspecting citizens are being victimized. Apart from the regular mode of individuals getting sucked into the vicious cycle of digital crimes vis-à-vis unsolicited spams, credit/debit card scams, and dubiously framed inducements, the number of cases reported for alleged data breaches in firms are also on the rise. As per the government records on the cybercrimes being perpetrated since 2019, registered cases are on the uptick recording 44,546 over two years.

PC: Jess Sheldon

  • As reported extensively in the leading newspapers, two recent reports of alleged data breaches in firms that may have led to the theft of consumer data grossly highlight the glaring loopholes in the country’s legal safeguards. In the first instance of the kind reported last month, mobile firm Mobikwik had to deal with charges that consumer data had been stolen after a breach. Of course, the firm denied this vehemently but was wisely ordered by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to conduct a comprehensive forensic audit. In a recent case, well-known pizza brand Domino’s is facing the data theft allegation which it has denied promptly.
  • Note that such reports are not uncommon anymore as the above statistics establish the growing instances of breaches. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has reported such data breaches having increased from five reported in 2018 to thirty-six last year. Needless to emphasize, the increased reliance on digitalization for carrying out more and more economic transactions online has opened an entirely new dimension in terms of security making redressal of the issue both urgent and challenging. Since cybercrime is not constrained by manmade boundaries, the inevitability of ushering in comprehensive legal safeguards assumes paramount importance.

PC: Leo Wolfert

  • For the benefit of the uninitiated, the Supreme Court has upheld the right to privacy as fundamental, which is sacrosanct and as such, strengthening this space vis-à-vis all-encompassing personal data protection law is not only non-negotiable but also undeniable necessity requiring immediate address. On its part, the government has introduced a data protection bill in Parliament in 2019 which is being scrutinized by a parliamentary committee. Prima facie, the bill has a drawback concerning protecting consumer privacy in case of a data breach. Sample this, a firm that has been breached will inform the regulator who will then decide if the owners of the data need to be informed.
  • As can be easily deduced, there is no leg space made available for the one who is the most affected by an act of data breach, namely the victim himself/herself getting unceremoniously relegated in the overall scheme of things. Keeping the victim informed about the breach in the personal data is the primary responsibility of the firm in question and any legal safeguard contemplated should address based on this premise alone. Timely information allows victims to limit damages. Considering all these aspects, the authorities should formulate effective means and measures against cybercrimes without any further delay.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.