Workshop on ‘Privacy after Big Data’, November 12

The Sarai Programme and The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) invite you to a workshop on ‘Privacy after Big Data: What Changes? What should Change?‘ on Saturday, November 12, 2016. This workshop aims to build a dialogue around some of the key government-led big data initiatives in India and elsewhere that are contributing significant new challenges and concerns to the ongoing debates on the right to privacy. It is an open event. Please fill this registration form to participate.

Data & Time: Saturday, November 12, 2016, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Venue: Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29, Rajpur Road, Civil Lines, Delhi 110054.

Location on Google Maps:

Concept Note

In this age of big data, discussions about privacy are intertwined with the use of technology and the data deluge. Though big data possesses enormous value for driving innovation and contributing to productivity and efficiency, privacy concerns have gained significance in the dialogue around regulated use of data and the means by which individual privacy might be compromised through means such as surveillance, or protected. The tremendous opportunities big data creates in varied sectors ranges from financial technology, governance, education, health, welfare schemes, smart cities to name a few.

With the UID (“Aadhaar”) project re-animating the Right to Privacy debate in India, and the financial technology ecosystem growing rapidly, striking a balance between benefits of big data and privacy concerns is a critical policy question that demands public dialogue and research to inform an evidence based decision.

Also, with the advent of potential big data initiatives like the ambitious Smart Cities Mission under the Digital India Scheme, which would rely on harvesting large data sets and the use of analytics in city subsystems to make public utilities and services efficient, the tasks of ensuring data security on one hand and protecting individual privacy on the other become harder.

As key privacy principles are at loggerheads with big data activities, it is important to consider privacy as an embedded component in the processes, systems and projects, rather than being considered as an afterthought. These examples highlight the current state of discourse around data protection and privacy in India and the shapes they are likely to take in near future.

This workshop aims to build a dialogue around some of the key government-led big data initiatives in India and elsewhere that are contributing significant new challenges and concerns to the ongoing debates on the right to privacy.


09:00-09:30 Tea and Coffee

09:30-10:00 Introduction

Mr. Amber Sinha and Mr. Sandeep Mertia
This session will introduce the topic of the workshop in the context of the ongoing works at CIS and Sarai.

10:00-11:00 From Privacy Bill(s) to ‘Habeas Data’

Dr. Usha Ramanathan and Mr. Vipul Kharbanda
This session will present a brief history of the privacy bill(s) in India and end with reflections on ‘habeas data’ as a lens for thinking and actualising privacy after big data.

11:00-11:30 Tea and Coffee

11:30-12:30 Digital ID, Data Protection, and Exclusion

Ms. Amelia Andersdotter and Mr. Srikanth Lakshmanan
This session will discuss national centralised digital ID systems, often operating at a cross-functional scale, and highlight its implications for discussions on data protection, welfare governance, and exclusion from public and private services.

12:30-13:30 Digital Money and Financial Inclusion

Dr. Anupam Saraph and Ms. Astha Kapoor
This session will focus on the rise of digital banking and online payments as core instruments of financial inclusion in India, especially in the context of the Jan Dhan Yojana and UPI, and reflect on the concerns around privacy and financial data.

13:30-14:30 Lunch

14:30-15:30 Big Data and Mass Surveillance

Dr. Anja Kovacs and Mr. Matthew Rice
This session will reflect on the rise of mass communication surveillance across the world, and the evolving challenges of regulating il/legal surveillance by government agencies.

15:30-16:15 Privacy is (a) Right

Mr. Apar Gupta and Ms. Kritika Bhardwaj
This brief session is to share initial ideas and strategies for articulating and actualising a constitutional right to privacy in India.

16:15-16:30 Tea and Coffee

16:30-17:30 Round Table

An open discussion session to conclude the workshop.

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Published on: November 3, 2016

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