“The next war will be Cyber war” said Mr. Saket Modi,CEO of Lucideus, company handling BHIM security. As the initiative “DIGITAL INDIA” took up and its impact could be analyzed as positive or negative, the main question arises for government is ‘how much would it be safe in cyber security norms if everything is going to be electronic’?
Cyber Crime is crime that involves a computer and a network. It is the darker side of technology and involves electronic tools; generally computer and mobiles in target and main motive is to harm the reputation of the victim financially. It also leads to problems of privacy infringement when confidential information is intercepted. These types of crimes are punishable under ‘section 65 to 74’ of Information technology act, 2000 with punishment up to 3 years.
As per report of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in 2016, India has seen a total of 1.71 lakh cybercrimes cases in the past three-and-a-half years that means one cybercrime case reported every 10 minutes. The main concern is Ransomware threats all over the internet, recent WannaCry ransomware threat jolted whole electronic world.
Digital India is a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically and to move country ahead in technology. All developed countries have the same infrastructure but question arises as how much is it secure in terms of hacking and other means of data leakage? As Digital India encourages Cashless Payments, their safety from hackers is not that much optimised as it to should be, that’s why people are still not very familiar with cashless transaction due to fear of losing data or money somewhere in technology development. The prime reason behind this insecurity is illiteracy rate and other crisis among mob and they couldn’t find themselves in familiar situation anyhow.
Digital India is not the only reason of boost in Cyber Crime cases but these have been already in mushroom growth since 2011 as study reveals “In India, from 2011 to 2014, there has been a surge of approximately 300 per cent in Cyber Crime cases registered under the IT Act, 2000,” said the Assocham-PwC joint study.
“India most vulnerable to online crime” said Experian survey, and as per NASSCOM report “India has seen growth of 40% internet users than last year and has 2nd largest internet users after China and beaten United States this year.” As India moving towards online shopping, e-trading, E-banking, E-payment, social media and each household has an electronic gadget at least, which is making India more vulnerable cyber security as people losing their privacy and disclosing confidential information to internet database.
If we talk about NPCI’s BHIM UPI (App for Cashless payment), NPCI do not held responsibility for any loss, claim or damage suffered by the user. Even more shocking are the terms and conditions (T&C) for the UPI BHIM app from NPCI, point 6.1 of T&C imply which is one sided and affords no protection whatsoever to the end user or consumer. This leaves users in midstream as on one hand government is trying to encourage it and on other side they are not responsible for any fraud/misconduct happens from internet server end.
Recent case of ‘Maharashtra Bank’ in which Fraudsters found loophole in UPI application used and looted around 6.14 crore money from user’s accounts. Another case came into news recently as anonymous selling aadhaar data for ₹500 of any individual and furtherly Kiran Jonnalagadda (cofounder at tech discussion forum HasGeek and Internet Freedom Foundation) said “the Aadhaar system is insecure and the backdoor has already been opened. It is quite easy to hack into their systems and the stolen demographic identities can be misused in a lot of ways”.
In case of right to privacy infringement through aadhaar card, Apex court held Right to privacy as fundamental right but did not rule out aadhaar over privacy infringement and it held to be valid, furtherly; however one can move on his own to supreme or high court if privacy is in question.
Decisively, the cyber security challenges in India would increase in the future; as India has adopted the Digital India initiative and India must be well prepared to deal with the same. We should also admit that anything can’t be 100% secure but for making digital India successful, government should build trust in mind of people. As internet users are growing rapidly in developing India then government should take steps for making strong electronic infrastructure which should be hacking proof and people can firmly go on digitally without hesitation.
“The essence of good governance is Trust” – Kathleen Sibelius
Parag Parashar, is a student of Law Centre II, Law Faculty, University of Delhi