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Privacy Concerns Grow in India

The Indian government’s recent announcement that it taps nearly 300 new phones every day has sparked a debate about privacy. This growing desire for privacy stems from changing family structures and lifestyles among the urban middle class, a mass media explosion and the Internet, and the government’s biometric identification program, just as the government has begun tapping more phones and using surveillance cameras in more public places. In fact, Mumbai officials recently announced they plan to add 6,000 new cameras to the existing 400.India’s constitution does not guarantee a right to privacy, nor does the country have a data protection law to guard against the misuse of personal information. However, the government has proposed a wide-ranging privacy law, and a coalition of organizations and activists, including the newly formed advocacy group Privacy India, is trying to help shape it.

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