Trilegal partner pens book on privacy


Trilegal partner Rahul Matthan launched his book Privacy 3.0 at the Nehru Memorial Museum in Delhi on 23 August with columnist and television personality Vir Sanghvi.

Matthan launches his book at a time when the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, has been put before the government. The government has also been requiring citizens to link their Aadhar identification cards for a range of services including banking and SIM cards, raising privacy concerns among rights groups.

“This book would not have been written without Aadhar,” Matthan told India Business Law Journal.

Rahul-Matthan-personal-data“From the year 2016 onwards we suddenly saw an explosion in the use of big data. The use of data-driven technology became more widespread spurred on by the enrolment in Aadhar. Both the government and private sector were deploying Aadhar in many things that they were doing.”

Matthan says in the book that we are on the cusp of the Privacy 3.0 era and given the ubiquity of personal devices and the various ways personal data is collected, we will have to renegotiate our relationship with privacy.

He argues that companies should be held accountable for the consequences arising from the use of personal data. “In the last chapter of the book, I have mentioned the accountability model. It does not matter what [companies] write in the consent agreement. You have to be responsible for the harm that you cause. It could be financial, reputational or the fact that you are putting people in filter bubbles. It should not be a get out of jail free card,” said Matthan.

He says consent should not be made an integral part of privacy legislation. So what does Matthan think of the recently introduced EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? “The GDPR is a consent plus regulation. I am not a fan since it’s too prescriptive and will come in the way of the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Though they have been used for bad purposes sometimes, there have been many instances where the use of these technologies has been beneficial.”

Matthan works in the technology, media, and telecom practice group of Trilegal and serves on the firm’s management committee.