The Privacy Timeline

Every moment we are online we are leaking data about ourselves- our likes, our dislikes, our locations, our opinions and stands.. the list is continuous. All this data we emit is being collected by the state and the corporate. They store it, control it and study it. They use it to provide you with a tailored, singular online experiences and information. No matter how benign, convenient and great that may sound, it does involve a control over your immediate (online) reality.

The ability to maintain your online privacy is one of the indicators of your digital skills. As we prepare ourselves and our children to be citizens of a brave new connected world, it is important to not just the various ways in which generate and give away data, but also larger systems, laws and policies within which we operate.

Maybe you feel that you don’t have to worry about it now now, but if this ‘control’ that we are now happy to give away falls in the wrong hands, a lot is at stake. The fight for online privacy grows louder everyday. But increasingly, we appear to be losing ground. The privacy timeline is an effort to put this shrinking space in perspective.

The Aadhaar Breaches

1 Feb 2017

The Aadhaar Breaches

3 breaches, one after another, exposed the holes in the security of the Aadhar database putting private information of Indian children and adults at risk

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The Great Indian Bank Hack

20 Oct 2016

The Great Indian Bank Hack

One of the biggest security breaches in the history of India’s banks placed millions of debit card users at risk.

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Privacy: A Fundamental Right?

23 Jul 2015

Privacy: A Fundamental Right?

Government Tells the Supreme Court that “Right to Privacy is not a fundamental right under our Constitution.

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Section 66A Struck Down

24 Mar 2015

Section 66A Struck Down

Section 66A of the IT Act which you may know as the provision that got teenagers (among others) arrested for expressing benign political opinions on social media, was struck down as unconstitutional in its entirety.

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Facebook’s Secret Mood Experiment

2 Oct 2014

Facebook’s Secret Mood Experiment

Facebook revealed that it had tampered with the news feeds of nearly 700,000 people in an effort to prove that it could alter the emotional state of its users.

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The Principles of Communications Surveillance

1 May 2014

The Principles of Communications Surveillance

International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance attempted to clarify how international human rights law applies in the current digital environment.

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Aadhaar Details Not To Be Shared

25 Mar 2014

Aadhaar Details Not To Be Shared

The Supreme Court ordered the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) not to share its biometric database with any agency without the consent of those who are on the database.

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DRDO NETRA

1 Jan 2014

DRDO NETRA

DRDO NETRA is a mass surveillance project of India that monitors social media platforms among others.

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The First Edward Snowden Article Released

5 Jun 2013

The First Edward Snowden Article Released

Edward Snowden blew the lid off the global surveillance mechanism. His revelations only went to confirm what was already expected – that we were constantly being watched & recorded.

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Google Intuitive Experience

1 Mar 2012

Google Intuitive Experience

Google’s new privacy policy removed the separation between YouTube, Search, and other Google products. Data they collected on platform would now engineer your experience on another.

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The Radia Tapes Controversy

23 Nov 2010

The Radia Tapes Controversy

Telephonic conversations between Nira Radia, with senior journalists, politicians, and corporate houses, taped by the Indian Income Tax Department in 2008–09 were leaked into the public domain.

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Central Monitoring System

26 Nov 2009

Central Monitoring System

Public announcement was made about the Central Monitoring System (CMS), India’s mass surveillance system. It’s being implemented in phases and aims to keep an eye on all electronic movement in the country.

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IT Act Amendment

5 Feb 2009

IT Act Amendment

Introducing: Section 66A penalizing “offensive messages”. Section 69 giving authorities the power of “interception or monitoring or decryption”. Section 43A holding corporates accountable for securing personal data.

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The Aadhaar Card

28 Jan 2009

The Aadhaar Card

Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data.It is the world’s largest biometric ID system, with over 1.123 billion enrolled members as of 28 February 2017.

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National Do Not Disturb Registry

6 Jun 2007

National Do Not Disturb Registry

Acting on numerous complaints of unsolicited calls being received by irate customers, a National Do Not Disturb Registry is set-up.

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Data Generation Tipping Point

31 Dec 2003

Data Generation Tipping Point

The world reaches a data generation tipping point. The amount of data created in 2003 surpasses the amount of all information created in the rest of human history combined.

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IT Act 2000

9 Jun 2000

IT Act 2000

The Information Technology Act, 2000 the primary law in India dealing with cybercrime and electronic commerce came into effect.

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The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

21 Oct 1998

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was the first law in the world to set into motion several distinct aspects of child safety on the Internet.

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PUCL Vs Union Of India

1 Dec 1997

PUCL Vs Union Of India

The Court expressed that the right to privacy is a part of the right to life and personal liberty as enshrined under Article 21. Any restrictions must be narrowly tailored if they are to be constitutional.

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Internet in India Goes Public

15 Aug 1995

Internet in India Goes Public

On August 15, 1995, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) launched public Internet access in India.

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R.Raja Gopal Vs State of Tamil Nadu

7 Oct 1994

R.Raja Gopal Vs State of Tamil Nadu

The Court observed that the right to privacy is implicit in the right to life and liberty guaranteed to the citizens of this country. It is a right to be let alone.

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The HTTP Cookie

1 Jun 1994

The HTTP Cookie

An HTTP cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the browser when the user is browsing. Even as they add convenience, cookies would have some important implications on the privacy and anonymity of users.

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EPIC ALERT

18 May 1994

EPIC ALERT

Electronic Privacy Information Center releases its famous 1st newsletter that puts the spotlight on privacy and civil liberties issues in the online space.

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Internet in India

1 Jan 1986

Internet in India

Internet in India began with the launch of the Educational Research Network (ERNET) in 1986. First dial-up link for email exchange being established between National Center for Software Technology, Delhi and IIT-Bombay.

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The Birth Of the Internet

1 Jan 1983

The Birth Of the Internet

The TCP/IP protocol is made a global standard. Networks all over the world could then communicate easily with each other, creating the Internet.

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Malak Singh Vs State of Punjab & Haryana

5 Dec 1980

Malak Singh Vs State of Punjab & Haryana

The Court held that it was necessary to keep discreet surveillance over reputed bad characters, habitual offenders and other potential offenders. But it also recognized that surveillance can be intrusive.

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Declaration of Emergency in India

25 Jun 1975

Declaration of Emergency in India

For 21 months, a national state of emergency was declared. The order bestowed upon the Prime Minister the authority to rule by decree. Elections were suspended, civil liberties curbed & the press censored. Surveillance & invasion of privacy was routine.

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Govind Vs. State of MP

18 Mar 1975

Govind Vs. State of MP

The Court held that the regulation which provided for surveillance by various means is not a violation of the constitution, as the regulation was “procedure established by law”. However the court accepted the right to privacy within a limited sphere.

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R.M. Malkani v. State of Maharashtra

22 Sep 1972

R.M. Malkani v. State of Maharashtra

The Court held that illegally obtained evidence could be admitted since the eavesdropper neither subjects the person to duress nor interferes with his privacy. The Court said that protection of the right to privacy does not hold for ‘guilty’ citizens.

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Kharak Singh vs State of UP

18 Dec 1962

Kharak Singh vs State of UP

The court said that the right of privacy is not a guaranteed right under the constitution.

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The Big Snoop: Life Magazine

20 May 1960

The Big Snoop: Life Magazine

Life magazine cover story ‘The Big Snoop’ mixed kitsch and paranoia as it spotlighted the fact it was not an “enemy” government but our own elected government who invades our privacy using electronic devices.

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MP Sharma vs Satish Chandra

15 Mar 1954

MP Sharma vs Satish Chandra

Just 4 years after the Constitution came into force, the Supreme Court decided in favor of the practice of search and seizure when contrasted with privacy.

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UNDHR: The Right To Privacy

10 Dec 1948

UNDHR: The Right To Privacy

The United Nations Declaration of Independence explicitly recognizes the right to privacy as a fundamental human right.

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The Indian Post Office Act 1898

22 Mar 1898

The Indian Post Office Act 1898

Section 26 of the Indian Post Office Act gives the law enforcement the power to intercept your private posts in the interest of public safety or on the occurrence of a public emergency.

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Indian Telegraph Act 1885

1 Oct 1885

Indian Telegraph Act 1885

The Indian Telegraph Act authorizes government law enforcement agencies to monitor/intercept communications and tap phone lines.It gives power to the government to take possession of any licensed telegraphs in case of a public emergency or in the interest of public safety.

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