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DATA PROTECTION IN INDIA

Data protection in India comes within the purview of the of the Information Technology Act, 2000. And the law of contracts as well as the Constitution.

PROVISIONS OF IT ACT, 2000

Section 43
The section provides for a penalty for unauthorized use of a computer, computer software or computer network or unauthorizedely downloading, extraction and copying of data are also covered under the same penalty. There is also a penalty for unauthorized introduction of computer viruses of contaminant and for assisting unauthorized access. The maximum amount of penalty is one crore.

Section 56
This section provides that "Whoever knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or intentionally or knowingly causes another to conceal, destroy or alter any computer source code used for a computer, computer programme, computer system or computer network, when the computer source code is required to be kept or maintained by law for the time being in force, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees, or with both".

Section 66
Whoever with the intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or damage to the public or any person destroys or deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means, commits hack. This section imposes the penalty of imprisonment of three years or fine up to two lakh rupees or both on the hacker.

Section 70
This section under sub- section 70(g) stipulates that "any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system in contravention of the provisions of this section shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine".

Section 72
This section Provides that "any person who, in pursuance of any of the powers conferred under this Act, rules or regulations made thereunder, has secured access to any electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material without the consent of the person concerned discloses such electronic record, book. register, correspondence, information, document or other material to any other person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both".

Law of contract
Data may be protected under the Law of Contracts by drawing out agreements such as Non-Circumvention And Non-disclosure agreement, user licence agreements and referral partner agreements. Agreements such as these contain confidentiality and privacy clauses and also arbitration clauses.

THE PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION BILL, 2006

This bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha on December 8th 2006. The purpose of this bill is to provide protection of personal data and information of an individual collected for a particular purpose by one organization, and to prevent its usage by other organization for commercial or other purposes and entitle the individual to claim compensation or damages due to disclosure of personal data or information of any individual without his consent and for matters connected with the Act or incidental to the Act.