Dr Pavan Duggal
The year 2020 has been dominated by Covid-19. The year, which saw the beginning of the pandemic, also witnessed various developments in cyberlaw in India.
Let’s examine some of the important cyberlaw developments that took place in India in the year 2020. The year 2020 began with a bang. The Parliament of India had already sent the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 for deliberations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee. This year saw the Joint Parliamentary Committee doing various deliberations on different aspects of this Data Protection Bill. Various representatives of different companies were called to answer the queries of the Committee. The Committee’s report is awaited. The Committee’s recommendations are important as the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is India’s foray in the area of data protection.
In India, in the year 2020, we saw the emergence of a golden age of cybercrimes proliferated at exceptional and unprecedented speed in India. Phishing became the most preferred cybercrime in the Indian context in the year 2020. Further, identity theft and frauds were also not far beyond in terms of targeting innocent Indians into becoming victims of cybercrimes. The figures for cybercrimes are constantly grown in this year.
Further, losses that Indians have been incurring as a result of increasing cybercrimes have been constantly growing.
The number of local threats in Q1 2020 in India (52,820,874) shows how frequently users are attacked by malware spread via removable USB drives, CDs and DVDs, and other "offline" methods.
The NCRB's data stated that 4,4546 cases of cybercrimes were registered in 2019 as compared to 28,248 in 2018. The data showed in 60.4 percent of cases, registered fraud was the motive followed by sexual exploitation (5.1%) and causing disrepute (4.2%).
With the coming of Covid-19 and national lockdowns and with cybercriminals weaponizing fear and panic, more and more Indians became victims of cybercrime. The year 2020 also saw India announcing a national lockdown in a very little advancement. As such, most of the Indian corporates were not prepared to deal with the Work From Home (WFH) concept. The increasing demand by the time dictated that Indian corporates migrated quickly to WFH strategies.
(Dr Pawan Duggal is senior advocate of Supreme Court and Expert on cyber Laws)