Preserving consent within data protection in the age of Big Data

Authors: Kritika Bhardwaj

The principles of notice and consent have come to form the bedrock of most modern data protection statutes. With the rise of big data technologies, which are inherently based on the collection and processing of a large amount of personal information, the effectiveness of consent as the basis for data processing is increasingly being called into question. This paper attempts to refocus the debate on consent in the context of autonomy and choice, which is integral to the right to privacy. It argues that in light of the Indian Supreme Court’s categorical finding to this effect, the principle of consent must not only be retained but also further strengthened under India’s imminent data protection statute.

In this light, this paper critically examines a few proposed alternatives to the notice and consent paradigm. However, being alive to the practical constraints in implementing the consent principle successfully, this paper advocates for additional legal and regulatory safeguards in order to reinforce and strengthen the principle, instead of replacing it altogether.

This paper was published in the NLUD Student Law Journal, Volume 5

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