Authors: Rithvika P, Research Intern, Artisans of Innovation, Brussels, Belgium & Parvathy Sailesh, Graduate student of Development Studies, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, India.
As the world gets globalized to greater extents, and information technology – enabled interconnectedness becomes the norm of the day, data protection and data privacy has emerged topical in legal, economic and social forums. This paper aims to analyse India’s data protection policies and data privacy environment from two perspectives – legal and economic. The paper begins with an introduction to the topic at hand, and a review of existing literature and policies on data protection. This is followed by a legal analysis that applies key doctrines (especially in tort law) to data protection. The economic analysis that succeeds this section uses economic theories of information, resource distribution, and externalities to understand data protection. A reading of the Personal Data Protection Bill of 2019 through the lens of inferences from the legal and economic analysis has also been carried out. The conclusion provides policy suggestions for formulating a coherent data protection policy in India, based on facets of both cause-and-fairness and economic approaches to law.
Keywords: Data protection, Personal Data Protection Bill, data theft, Coase theorem, doctrines in tort law.