Category: Articles

Analysis of key provisions of the Aadhaar Act regulations

This analysis was edited by Elonnai Hickok, and originally published on the Centre for Internet and Society’s Internet Governance blog. In exercise of their powers under of the powers conferred by Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, (Aadhaar Act) the UIDAI has come out with a set of […]

What is big data?

Big data has been ascribed a number of definitions and characteristics. Any study of big data must begin with first conceptualizing defining what big data is. Over the past few years, this term has been become a buzzword, used to refer to any number of characteristics of a dataset ranging from size to rate of […]

New Media, personalisation and the role of algorithms

This article was originally published on the Internet Governance blog of the Centre for Internet and Society’s website. Everything which bars freedom and fullness of communication sets up barriers that divide human beings into sets and cliques, into antagonistic sects and factions, and thereby undermines the democratic way of life. —John Dewey  Eli Pariser, in his […]

New Approaches to Information Privacy – Revisiting the Purpose Limitation Principle

This article was originally published on Observer Research Foundation’s Digital Policy Portal. Introduction Last year, Mukul Rohatgi, the Attorney General of India, called into question existing jurisprudence of the last 50 years on the constitutional validity of the right to privacy. [1] Mohatgi was rebutting the arguments on privacy made against Aadhaar, the unique identity […]

A case for privacy paternalism?

This is the second part of a series of three articles exploring the issues with the privacy self management framework and potential alternatives. The first part of the series can be accessed here. Background The current data privacy protection framework across most jurisdictions is built around a rights based approach which entrusts the individual with […]

Liberalism in India

The first elections I followed with considerable interest were the 2004 general elections. I was still in high school, bred on Ayn Rand’s books. Rand is an attractive guide when one is just beginning to navigate the terrains of philosophy, if for no other reason than that she attempts to present a comprehensive system of […]

A critique of consent in information privacy

This article was written by Scott Mason and me, and originally published on the Centre for Internet and Society’s website. The idea of informed consent in privacy law is supposed to ensure the autonomy of an individual in any exercise which involves sharing of the individual’s personal information. Consent is usually taken through a document, […]

8 key privacy events in India of 2015

This post was originally published on Centre for Internet and Society’s website As the year draws to a close, we are recording the key privacy related events in India that transpired in 2015. Much like the last few years, this year, too, was an eventful one in the context of privacy. While we did not […]

CIS’ initiative to crowdsource incidents of communications privacy violation in India

Sumandro Chattopadhyay of the Centre for Internet and Society has initiated an online repository to “crowdsource incidents of violation of digital/online/telephonic privacy of persons and organisations in India.”  Incidents can be reported at and the repository of collected incidents is available at For more details, please see