According to the Passage, the Committee Headed by Justice B. N. Srikrishna Called For: - Legal Reasoning

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India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (‘Bill’) starts encouragingly, seeking to protect “the privacy of individuals relating to their personal data”. But by the end, it is clear it is not designed to deliver on the promise. For, even as it rightly requires handlers of data to abide by globally-accepted rules — about getting an individual’s consent first — it disappointingly gives wide powers to the Government to dilute any of these provisions for its agencies.

Recently, messaging platform WhatsApp said that some Indian journalists and rights activists were among those spied on using technology made by an Israeli company, which by its own admission only works for government agencies across the world.

Importantly, one of the first to raise a red flag about Bill’s problematic clauses was Justice B.N. Srikrishna, whose committee’s report forms the basis of the Bill. He has used words such as “Orwellian” and “Big Brother” in reaction to the removal of safeguards against actions of Government agencies. In its report last July, the committee noted that the dangers to privacy originate from state and non-state actors. It, therefore, called for exemptions to be “watertight”, “narrow”, and available for use in “limited circumstances”. It had also recommended that the Government bring in a law for the oversight of intelligence-gathering activities, the means by which non-consensual processing of data takes place. A related concern about the Bill is regarding the constitution of the Data Protection Authority of India (‘DPA’), which is to monitor and enforce the provisions of the Act. It will be headed by a chairperson and have not more than six whole-time members, all of whom are to be selected by a panel filled with Government nominees. This completely disregards the fact that Government agencies are also regulated under the Bill; they are major collectors and processors of data themselves. The sweeping powers the Bill gives to the Government render meaningless the gains from the landmark K.S. Puttaswamy vs. Union of India case, which culminated in the recognition that privacy is intrinsic to life and liberty, and therefore a basic right. That idea of privacy is certainly not reflected in the Bill in its current form.

According to the passage, the committee headed by Justice B. N. Srikrishna called for: 

Options

  • Limiting the grounds on which Government agencies may be allowed to act in a manner that endangers the right to privacy of individuals.

  • The right to privacy to be exempted from the ambit of the Bill.

  • The right to privacy to be endangered by state and non-state actors.

  • Watertight protection to Government agencies that process data of individuals.

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Solution

Limiting the grounds on which Government agencies may be allowed to act in a manner that endangers the right to privacy of individuals.

Explanation:

The correct answer is - limiting the grounds on which Government agencies may be allowed to act in a manner that endangers the right to privacy of individuals. As is evident from a reading of the passage, the committee anticipated dangers to the right to privacy from government agencies as well and advocated building safeguards to prevent the same. The passage states that the committee recommended that exemptions allowed to Government agencies should be “watertight”, “narrow”, and available for use in “limited circumstances”.

Concept: Legal Fundamentals and Terms (Entrance Exams)
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