FAQs on IT Act 2000 & Amendments 2008

The IT (Amendment) Act, 2008 (ITAA 2008) has established a strong data protection regime in India. It addresses industry’s concerns on data protection, and creates a more predictive legal environment for the growth of e-commerce that includes data protection and cyber crimes measures, among others. Sensitive personal information of consumers, held in digital environment, is required to be protected through reasonable security practices by the corporates. Additionally, ITAA 2008 makes it obligatory for them to protect data under lawful contracts by providing for penalty for breach of confidentiality and privacy. Privacy protection, a long felt need of consumers in India, and of clients overseas who are outsourcing their operations to Indian service providers, is now on a sound footing. It will go a long way in promoting trust in transborder data-flows to India. A strong data protection regime also requires that cyber crimes such as identity theft, phishing, data leakage, cyber terrorism, child pornography etc. be covered to ensure data security and data privacy. It has adequate provisions for data storage and audits to ensure that cyber security breaches can be handled through investigations and cyber forensics techniques. The Act also provides for security of critical infrastructure, by terming such cyber attacks as cyber terrorism; and for establishing a national encryption policy for data security. ITAA 2008 thus enhances trustworthiness of cyberspace. In our interactions with the IT/BPO industry, banks, public sector, government organizations and others, we have found that knowledge about the ITAA 2008 is rather low. In addition to conducting several seminars and workshops on ITAA2 008, we decided to promote better understanding of the Act through FAQs. There could not have been a more qualified person to write the FAQs than Mr. Vakul Sharma, Supreme Court Advocate, who was an expert member of the committee that drafted these amendments. I hope the reader will find the FAQs useful.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010