All India Privacy Symposium

by Prasad Krishna last modified Feb 27, 2012 11:08 AM
Privacy India in partnership with the International Development Research Centre, Canada, Society in Action Group, Gurgaon, Privacy International, UK and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative is organizing the All India Privacy Symposium at the India International Centre, New Delhi on Saturday, February 4, 2012.

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Feb 04, 2012
from 01:30 AM to 09:00 AM


India International Centre, New Delhi

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Since June 2010, Privacy India has been engaging in discussions with policy makers, the public and sectoral experts about privacy in India. The discussions have ranged from topics of identity and privacy, to minority rights and privacy, and consumer privacy. The findings of our research show that privacy was a neglected area of study for India in the past, however, this is changing. Advancements in technology, the introduction of e-governance initiatives like the National Fibre Optic Network, the introduction of new legislations, and debates surrounding national security, have brought privacy debates to the forefront in India. Although currently sectoral legislation deals with privacy issues, e.g., the Telegraph Act or RBI guidelines for banking, India has just begun to consider a horizontal legislation that deals comprehensively with privacy across all contexts. This conference is an opportunity to look forward to what could be the future scope of privacy in India.

Privacy India was set up in collaboration with the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore and Society in Action Group, Gurgaon, under the auspices of an international organization ‘Privacy International’. Privacy International is a non-profit group that provides assistance to civil society groups, governments, international and regional bodies, the media and the public in a number of countries. For more info, visit its website.

This is a public meeting. For participation in the event, get in touch with Elonnai ([email protected])

Symposium Advisors

Sunil Abraham, Centre for Internet &Society (
Rajan Gandhi, Society in Action Group
Phet Sayo, IDRC (
Gus Hosein, Privacy International (
Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore (
Vickram Crishna, Privacy International (


Welcome & Introduction to Privacy India
Elonnai Hickok (Policy Advocate, Privacy India)
Tea Break
Panel I: Privacy and Transparency
Moderator: Sunil Abraham (Executive Director, Centre for Internet & Society)
Panelists: Prashant Bhushan (Senior Advocate, New Delhi), Simon Davies (Director General, Privacy International, UK), Ponnurangam K (Assistant Prof, IIIT New Delhi), Chitra Ahanthem (Journalist, Imphal), Aruna Roy (Social & Political Activist), Deepak Maheshwari (Director Corporate Affairs, Microsoft)
Poster:Srishti Goyal (Law Student)
Panel II: Privacy and E-Governance Initiatives
Moderator: Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Professor, Azim Premji University)
Panelists: Anant Maringanti (Independent Social Researcher), Usha Ramanathan (Advocate&Social Activist), Ram Sewak Sharma (Director General, UIDAI)*, Gus Hosein (Executive Director, Privacy International, UK), R K Singh (Union Home Secretary, New Delhi)*, Apar Gupta (Advocate, Supreme Court of India)
Poster: Adrija Das (Law Student)
Panel III: Privacy and National Security
Moderator: Justice A P Shah (Former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court)*
Panelists: Menaka Guruswamy (Advocate, Supreme Court, New Delhi), Amol Sharma (Journalist, Wall Street Journal)*, Saikat Datta (Journalist, DNA), Eric King (Human Rights and Technology Advisor, Privacy International, UK), Prasanth Sugathan (Legal Counsel, Software Freedom Law Center) and Oxblood Ruffin  (Cult of the Dead Cow Security and Publishing Collective)
Poster: Suchithra Menon (Law Student)
Panel IV: Privacy and Banking
Moderator: Prashant Iyengar (Associate Professor, Jindal Law University)
Panelists: M R Umarji (Chief Legal Advisor, IBA), N A Vijayashankar (Cyber Law Expert), Sucheta Dalal (Managing Editor, MoneyLife Magazine)*, Malavika Jayaram (Advocate, Bangalore)
Poster: Malavika Chandu (Law Student)
Tea Break
Panel V: Privacy and Health
Moderator: Ashok Row Kavi (Journalist & LGBT Activist)
Panelists: K K Abraham (President, Indian Network for People with HIV), Shri Sayan Chatterjee (Secretary, National Aids Control Organization)*, Dr V M Katoch (Secretary, Department of Health Research)*, Dr B S Bedi (Advisor, CDAC & Media Lab Asia)
Poster: Danish Sheikh (Alternative Law Forum)
The Way Forward
Elonnai Hickok (Policy Advocate, Privacy India)

Bios of Speakers

Usha Ramanathan

Usha Ramanathan is an internationally recognized expert on the jurisprudence of law, poverty and rights. She writes and speaks on leading issues like the Bhopal gas leak tragedy, mass displacement, civil liberties, criminal law, environment and the judicial process. She is involved in the UID project and has written and debated extensively on it. She is a member of Amnesty International's Advisory Panel on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and has been called upon by the World Health Organisation as a expert on mental health on various occasions. Her writings can be found at


NA.Vijayashankar, more popularly known as Naavi, is a Techno Legal Information Security Consultant based in Bangalore, India. Naavi is a pioneer in the field of Cyber Law in India. He is the author of the first book (1999) and first E-Book (2003) on Cyber Laws in India. He has also authored a book titled “Cyber Laws, Corporate Mantra for the Digital Era”, “Cyber Laws Demystified” and “Cyber Laws for Engineers” as well as a book on Cyber Crimes in Kannada.

Naavi is the founder of which is the pioneering virtual educational institution in India dedicated to Cyber Law Education. Cyber Law College presently conducts offline and virtual courses on Cyber Laws. It has conducted several courses in association with law colleges in Karnataka such as KLE Law College, Bangalore, JSS Law College, Mysore, SDM law college Mangalore and KLE Law College Hubli.

Naavi is also the founder of the premier Cyber Law Portal in India. Naavi has been engaged in the training of Police in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and conducts several courses in Cyber Laws for different audiences. He has been a guest faculty in a number of institutions including NPA, IDRBT, DTRI, ISACA, NADT, LBS National Academy, Judicial Academies, NALSAR, etc., as well as several law, engineering and management institutions.

Naavi has over three decades of senior Corporate executive experience behind him. He has been an ex-Banker and Consultant to several Companies in IT Services. He has conducted hundreds of training sessions to professionals of various disciplines such as bankers, lawyers, chartered accountants, engineers, software professionals, police and judicial officers through workshops and in-house training programmes in cyber laws, cyber crimes, information security and related areas.

Chitra Ahanthem

Chitra Ahanthem is a features writer with Imphal Free Press, published in Imphal, Manipur. She is also a freelance writer and researcher on issues around HIV/AIDS, child rights, conflict and gender.

Baljit Singh Bedi

Baljit Singh Bedi did his B.Tech and M.Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.    After serving for five years in the Centre for Applied Research in Electronics (CARE) IIT, Delhi he joined the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Communication & IT (MCIT), Government of India.  The major responsibilities and contributions over the years cover conceptualizing, evolving and implementation of a number of major schemes/programmes and projects in the field of electronics and IT applications with primary role in healthcare. He was instrumental in starting an integrated programme in promoting the area of Electronics, IT and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Standards in Healthcare in India. As the head of Medical Electronics & Telemedicine division, he was looking after the activity of promotion of e-health & tele–health technology and R&D in medical electronics and launched a number of schemes in India. He was part of the National Task Force Telemedicine in India set up by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Government of India and headed the Group on Standards. He was a Member of National Knowledge Commission’s Working Group on India-Health Information Network Development (I-HIND) and is part of the Advisory Group for follow-up implementation program under the consideration of MoH&FW.  He is actively involved in policy, development and deployment programmes of IT in Health initiatives of DIT, MoH&FW, and Media Lab Asia. He is a member of the National Committee set up by MoH&FW for EMR Standardization and Heading its Task Group on Interoperability.  He is also International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Expert for e-Health Standardization. He is Executive Member of Indian Association of Medical Informatics (IAMI) and President, Telemedicine Society of India (TSI). At present, he is an Adviser to the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Scientific Society of MCIT, Government of India. 

Deepak Maheshwari

Deepak Maheshwari is Director – Corporate Affairs with Microsoft in India and responsible for interactions with the policymakers & regulators as well as with industry associations & the civil society organizations. An active participant and a keen observer of the interplay between technological innovation and socio-economic development, he has been closely associated with development & evolution of Information & Communication Technology policy, law & regulation for more than a decade and is often invited as a speaker and a contributor of articles & opinions in the media.
He has been active in several trade associations and served as committee chair & co-chair. He served for two consecutive terms as the elected secretary in the ISP Association of India and co-founded National Internet eXchange of India (NIXI) as well as the ITU-APT Foundation of India. He is also a member on the academic board of the IIM Ahmedabad- IDEA Telecom Centre of Excellence.
At times mistaken as a lawyer, he was actually awarded degree in engineering by one of India’s leading technical institute IT-BHU. His professional experience of more than 2 decades spans functional responsibilities across sales, marketing, operations and last but not the least, corporate affairs.

*Participants to be confirmed