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Privacy at threat from private companies, govt.: Justice DY Chandrachud

He was speaking at the International Judicial Conference organized by the Supreme Court of India

Sabrangindia 24 Feb 2020

PrivacyImage Courtesy: ciso.economictimes

At the International Judicial Conference organized by the Supreme Court, Justice DY Chandrachud on Sunday said that privacy in the digital age is facing a crucial challenge from hackers, private firms and the government, PTI reported.

Challenges to privacy in the digital age and the era of artificial intelligence

Speaking during a panel discussion on the “Role of Judiciary in Protecting Privacy of Citizens in the Internet Age”, Justice Chandrachud said, “The challenges to privacy are presented by three key actors—(i) hackers; (ii) private companies; and (iii) the government. This presents a range of concerns: First, there is a possibility of serious data breach and the misuse of personal information. Second, vast silos of data may be used to profile people and to discriminate against vulnerable groups. Third, there is a chilling effect on free speech and disclosure of information.”

In line to become the Chief Justice in 2022, Justice Chandrachud said that judges need to see how to apply the standard of proportionality, created in the pre-digital age, in the backdrop of complexities of the digital age.

Emphasizing the importance of the judiciary in the matter he said it was the responsibility to balance the right to privacy with other rights, and then supplement existing legislative frameworks especially in an age where technology governs many aspects of people’s lives and privacy is an illusion. He said, “The digital world has been ushered in at a pace which the incremental change of judicial decisions can scarcely match. Our Constitution protects the right to personal freedom, human dignity and liberty.”

In today’s world, every individual identity is viewed in terabytes of information and every individual is viewed as a collection of data represented by activities on the Internet like shopping preferences, social media patterns, geographic location and personal biometric information, he posed.

“This defines two new horizons: The first is data aggregation, which, like ‘death by a thousand cuts’, is the collection of unconnected data to map the identity of the individual. This has the potential to seriously threaten the rights of individuals to keep their personal and sensitive information private and to control how their information is used.”

He also spoke about the second horizon - artificial intelligence which comprehends machine learning analysis of political beliefs, religious affiliation, race, ethnicity, health, status, gender and sexual orientation, he said, “Our individual data is aggregated and disaggregated to sort, score, classify, evaluate and rank people. How comfortable are with artificial intelligence telling us whether an offender who seeks bail is likely to be a repeat offender?”

Praises for the President

Speaking about President Ram Nath Kovind who was also present at the conference he said, “Presence of President of India in our midst today is of special significance. Before assuming the highest constitutional office the President was a senior member of the Supreme Court Bar until the call of the nation carved out a course for the future. Role of a judge requires legal and constitutional statesmanship. The President's vast experience in matters of law and state imparts to his presence a unique significance for us.”

Crowded courts a vibrant space for dialogue

Speaking about the significance of the conference organized by the Supreme Court and that in jurisdictions across the world, judges are drawn from the Bar or upon a career progression, he said, “Lawyering gives to the individual a steady stream of new information on which new thoughts and ideas can evolve. Crowded court house corridors are a vibrant space for dialogue and social contacts. In contrast, judges lead a staid and some would say an isolated life. The lively bustle of court corridors is replaced almost overnight by the calm and quiet of judicial chambers. Hence experiences such as those gained by such conferences rekindle the joy of being surrounded by ideas, opinion and open the windows of our chambers and our mind to jurisdictions across the world.”

Related:

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Privacy at threat from private companies, govt.: Justice DY Chandrachud

He was speaking at the International Judicial Conference organized by the Supreme Court of India

PrivacyImage Courtesy: ciso.economictimes

At the International Judicial Conference organized by the Supreme Court, Justice DY Chandrachud on Sunday said that privacy in the digital age is facing a crucial challenge from hackers, private firms and the government, PTI reported.

Challenges to privacy in the digital age and the era of artificial intelligence

Speaking during a panel discussion on the “Role of Judiciary in Protecting Privacy of Citizens in the Internet Age”, Justice Chandrachud said, “The challenges to privacy are presented by three key actors—(i) hackers; (ii) private companies; and (iii) the government. This presents a range of concerns: First, there is a possibility of serious data breach and the misuse of personal information. Second, vast silos of data may be used to profile people and to discriminate against vulnerable groups. Third, there is a chilling effect on free speech and disclosure of information.”

In line to become the Chief Justice in 2022, Justice Chandrachud said that judges need to see how to apply the standard of proportionality, created in the pre-digital age, in the backdrop of complexities of the digital age.

Emphasizing the importance of the judiciary in the matter he said it was the responsibility to balance the right to privacy with other rights, and then supplement existing legislative frameworks especially in an age where technology governs many aspects of people’s lives and privacy is an illusion. He said, “The digital world has been ushered in at a pace which the incremental change of judicial decisions can scarcely match. Our Constitution protects the right to personal freedom, human dignity and liberty.”

In today’s world, every individual identity is viewed in terabytes of information and every individual is viewed as a collection of data represented by activities on the Internet like shopping preferences, social media patterns, geographic location and personal biometric information, he posed.

“This defines two new horizons: The first is data aggregation, which, like ‘death by a thousand cuts’, is the collection of unconnected data to map the identity of the individual. This has the potential to seriously threaten the rights of individuals to keep their personal and sensitive information private and to control how their information is used.”

He also spoke about the second horizon - artificial intelligence which comprehends machine learning analysis of political beliefs, religious affiliation, race, ethnicity, health, status, gender and sexual orientation, he said, “Our individual data is aggregated and disaggregated to sort, score, classify, evaluate and rank people. How comfortable are with artificial intelligence telling us whether an offender who seeks bail is likely to be a repeat offender?”

Praises for the President

Speaking about President Ram Nath Kovind who was also present at the conference he said, “Presence of President of India in our midst today is of special significance. Before assuming the highest constitutional office the President was a senior member of the Supreme Court Bar until the call of the nation carved out a course for the future. Role of a judge requires legal and constitutional statesmanship. The President's vast experience in matters of law and state imparts to his presence a unique significance for us.”

Crowded courts a vibrant space for dialogue

Speaking about the significance of the conference organized by the Supreme Court and that in jurisdictions across the world, judges are drawn from the Bar or upon a career progression, he said, “Lawyering gives to the individual a steady stream of new information on which new thoughts and ideas can evolve. Crowded court house corridors are a vibrant space for dialogue and social contacts. In contrast, judges lead a staid and some would say an isolated life. The lively bustle of court corridors is replaced almost overnight by the calm and quiet of judicial chambers. Hence experiences such as those gained by such conferences rekindle the joy of being surrounded by ideas, opinion and open the windows of our chambers and our mind to jurisdictions across the world.”

Related:

Police blocking roads, Shaheen Bagh protesters getting blamed
Assam NRC: Allegations of inclusion of ‘ineligible’ people in list

Is MHA distancing itself from Assam Clause 6 committee report?

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