Four in-house counsel, a mediation specialist and partners at three law firms share their views on the developments that are likely to shape India’s business and legal climate in the coming year.

Privacy, data protection and cybercrime-related issues will take on even greater importance in 2017.

Kapil Chaudhary from India’s business and legal climate 2017
Kapil Chaudhary

An International Association of Privacy Professionals study recently concluded that losing customers’ or employees’ personally identifiable information (PII) ranks first among disclosed information-related risks faced by companies. The study looked at disclosures of potential risk factors made by more than 100 publicly traded companies to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It found that 86% of companies that disclosed privacy and security risks in their annual filings to the SEC included the risk of hacking or cyber incidents.

The recent hacking of Twitter accounts of prominent political leaders in India and the Yahoo data breaches have shown that cybercrimes and security incidents can lead to increased costs, liability claims and reputational losses for companies.

We can expect interesting conversations on the interplay between security and privacy, as more and more digital services emerge that access citizen data and PII and as India moves towards becoming a data-driven digital economy.

Businesses in India – especially those in the outsourcing industry – are gearing up for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becoming directly applicable as of May 2018 in all EU member states. While such businesses should be performing privacy-impact assessments they also need to start preparing data protection compliance programmes, processes and infrastructure, in order to meet the increased compliance obligations of the GDPR.

Meanwhile in India, the Information Technology Act, 2000, will likely see far reaching amendments or even a complete overhaul to include a robust legal framework for cyber security.

The views expressed by the contributors are personal and do not reflect the position of their organizations.


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