Institutions can help find complex balance between privacy and online safety. India’s IT Rules do not meet good institutional design.

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A battle rages for the soul of the internet, and there are no easy answers. For several decades, tech companies and governments have waged a battle on whether the latter…


New report by Pollicy highlights nine modes of economic extractivism from Africa that are abetted by the rise of tech companies.

Ghosts of the past never truly let our present be free. Instead, in ways both hidden and visible, they spread their tentacles and constrict our experience and imagination of…


On 11 June, I moderated a panel discussion on the promise and perils of strategic litigation on digital rights. Here’s what I learnt.

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From the outside, strategic litigation looks like glamorous work. Picture an eloquent lawyer - the defender of human rights - rattling arguments and making an impassioned plea…


New rules provide the government unaccountable power over free online speech, violating separation of power from an erstwhile judicial role

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We live in unprecedented times, where technology is creating new and complex problems. Technology is changing the balance of power between governments, corporations, and individuals. A re-alignment is happening as…


  1. Bringing a framework for consent managers while the privacy bill is still not there can create confusion. For e.g., privacy bill says data auditors will create ratings, but #DEPA says consent managers will. @cis_india analysis points to many such issues https://bit.ly/34wjWm8
  2. The @GoI_MeitY’s National Strategy of Blockchain joins similar strategies…

  • Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative filed a class action suit against FinTech apps that access a person’s contact list and threaten to send out messages informing that the person hasn’t paid a loan in time https://bit.ly/3tNrw7d
  • Research ICT Africa’s policy brief explored how tech can be used to make welfare more…


  1. By dissecting six cases ranging from porn ban to streaming services regulation, @VrindaBhandari and @anjakovacs find that efforts aimed at “protecting” women often end up making them subject to state control and weakening their digital rights. Full paper: https://bit.ly/2NZgH1h
  2. The non-personal data committee report set off intense discussions on the…

1) Paradigm Initiative joined a group of global digital rights organisations to file an amicus brief in the ongoing US case filed by WhatsApp against the NSO Group (of Pegasus spyware infamy). It argues that NSO should be held accountable for privacy violations http://bloom.bg/3c21qqA

2) Research ICT Africa analysed 14…


  1. Online consent is broken, but we finally have clues about what could work instead. @Varad_Pande and I write an op-ed for @IndianExpress. Builds on years of work by folks like @SmritiParsheera, @resanering, @rahmanfaiza6 @phaldea, @teninthemorning & others https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/privacy-policy-online-consent-illegible-7150434/
  2. Non-personal data report is a much improved version, but lacks specificity to…


Committee on non-personal data released a much-improved second report. It should fill the substantial gaps in incentives and enforcement

Late last year, the Government-appointed committee on non-personal data released its second report. The first report, released in Sept ’20, had raised fears of ‘nationalisation of data’ and harming the commercial…

Subhashish Bhadra

Principal, Omidyar Network. Rhodes Scholar, Stephanian. Investing in privacy and good ID. Researching on economics of data. Photo By: Access Ventures.

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