In a recent report the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has said that data privacy should be used responsibly by app and mobile manufacturing companies, in order to give more privacy to users. This comes just after the European Union came up with the GDPR regulations that introduced similar rules for any sort of internet companies that were providing its services in the confederation’s territory.
Devices, operating systems, mobile browsers, and apps often ask for permissions that might seem nothing more than technical jargon and that is something that TRAI asks to be removed and cleaned. These permissions can be easily misused by said enterprises to use the private data of the users without any notification.
TRAI wants all of that to go – it has prescribed multilingual and short permissions in simple language and also asked unnecessary ones to be barred. Another of the authority’s demand is to anonymize the collected personal data – following the General Data Protection Regulations template very closely.
In the recent past, Facebook has been convicted of selling the personal data of its users to third parties and that has to led to the Cambridge Analytica controversy. TRAI wants to make sure that nothing of this sort is repeated and consumer data is always given of the basis of notice, choice, and the option to remove it, when it so pleases.
Personal data in recent times has been a matter of debate as experts are battling out the importance of the digital age and how it has made us all a part of a grid that we cannot leave. Anyone using a Gmail email account today – which is probably the most used – will always be on the grid, as Google looks into your devices current location and you might often find nearby recommendations popping as notifications.
The problem is, not every one of us want this and it is also unethical, because most Indians never really care about reading permissions anyway. Why?
Well, there is the legal jargon and the pages that seem like ages of reading, but also, many apps do not let you use features unless you grant all permissions. Also, their permission requests are quiet persuasive and keep popping up every now and then, when you are using your smart device. At one point, most people just give in to it because no one likes these pop-up harassments to bother them when using an app.
App makers, phone makers, operating systems, and other digital bodies are always on the look for more data – to profile people – access their interests, hobbies, places visited, monetary transactions, and so much more. It’s like the whole world has become a Big Boss house where someone is always watching and authorities like TRAI should ensure the triumph of Right to Privacy over such activities, while users should take more responsibility as to how they handle their private data. As for now, let’s just hope that the recommendations of the report are implemented and service providing companies change their ways!