Proposed Privacy Law Will Create Monopoly: Gulshan Rai

New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) The proposed data protection law will create a sort of "monopoly" when it comes to data collection and surveillance, and the government will have to control these issues, a former cyber security official said on Wednesday.

Gulshan Rai, the ex-national cyber security coordinator, also said that virtually every mobile phone in the country, with a few exceptions, is "compromised" due to the activity of a host of unknown apps (applications) being downloaded by the users.

He was addressing a session on 'dimensions of digital revolution and security' here.

Answering a question on possible security pitfalls in the backdrop of the Aadhaar-PAN linking and similar issues, Rai said technology in the country to secure data has "significantly improved" over the last two years and the government is "serious" to create a robust technology system to check these issues.

"In the Internet, there are so many points where the data is being stored and from where it gets leaked and I really don't know?"

"It is a challenge...but I must say that privacy law is also creating some sort of monopoly. Monopoly in surveillance, in data collection, and there are some consent managers, aggregators (in the proposed law)..." the former chief of the CERT-In said.

These are the issues which the government will have to control, he added.

Rai was referring to the Personal Data Protection Bill that has been referred to a joint select committee of both Houses of Parliament.

The proposed law seeks bars on storing and processing of personal data by entities without the explicit consent of an individual.

Rai also talked about security issues related to mobile phones that are possessed by a majority of the population in the country.

"In fact, every mobile phone in the country today is compromised. That is a effective position because we don't know what apps we are downloading, how are they behaving, how they are interacting with other apps and how they are interacting with software code (of the operating system of the phone)... so every mobile phone gets compromised," he said.

Rai said the smartphones made by Apple were a safer lot.

"Why do we buy an Apple phone? We spend a lot of money and also Apple charges a lakh of rupees (for the phone)...because they are monitoring your mobile activity and if any hacker is trying to enter the system they try to kill it from a central location.

"So, everyone feels Apple is a very secure phone. They are not selling the data the way other mobile companies are selling the data," he added.

The cyber sleuth also said that the proposed 5G services is a "challenge" for the country and its processes have to be well defined.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)