On October 31, the database of the Indian Council of Medical Research allegedly experienced the biggest case of data leak in the country, leaking crucial identity details for nearly half of the Indian population. This news was followed by an attempt to breach the iPhones of the top brass of the political opposition.

In this ‘State of the Economy Podcast’, Ayushi Kar talks to Mishi Choudhary, a technology lawyer and online civil rights activist, about recent events that highlight how Indians are navigating a tough digital space amidst increased surveillance and data breaches.

Choudhary emphasises the sensitivity of the data being collected in the digital age, including mobile phone numbers, Aadhaar numbers, PINs, and passport numbers. She highlights the potential for identity theft and other malicious activities when such sensitive information is exposed.

Choudhary criticises the government’s response, describing it as a non-response. . She calls for a more responsible approach to data protection, suggesting that regulations should work automatically to safeguard citizens’ data without requiring individuals to navigate complex terms and conditions.

The conversation then shifts to the Apple data breach, Choudhary stresses privacy has become luxury product, instead of the right of every citizen.

Addressing potential government actions, Choudhary suggests that a mature conversation is needed. She calls for a balance between innovation and citizens’ rights, emphasising the need for responsible use of technology.

Choudhary suggests a time-bound, independent investigation into the recent breaches, involving experts to provide a comprehensive clarification to citizens.

(Host: Ayushi Kar; Producer:V Nivedita, Nabodita Ganguly)


About the State of the Economy podcast

India’s economy has been hailed as a bright spot amid the general gloom that seems to have enveloped the rest of the world. But several sectors continue to stutter even as others seem set to fire on all cylinders. To help you make sense of the bundle of contradictions that the country is, businessline brings you podcasts with experts ranging from finance and marketing to technology and start-ups.