Privacy and Innovation Trade-Off: Not What You Think It’s About

It’s been a while since we last posted on this blog, but it’s been a crazy few weeks – the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Aadhaar case, and the myriad impassioned pleas by fintech companies for paperless alternatives to Aadhaar e-KYC have kept us engaged.

And on top of all that, the looming cloud of uncertainty over if and when the Draft Personal Data Protection Bill (the “DPDPB”) would be tabled in Parliament means that businesses remain uncertain of what changes they may have to implement in their data-related processes, and when. The recent assembly election results and the fact that this is the last full Parliamentary session for the current regime before the 2019 general elections have given this issue as much spin as would have made Shane Warne in his prime proud.

There is increasing interest around what impact the DPDPB may have on innovation and young businesses. In Indian legal circles, a nascent area of study called ‘privacy jurisprudence’ is gathering momentum through the inputs of various academics, practitioners, and business representatives. The Centre for Policy Research recently held a Panel Discussion on ‘Informational Privacy in India: An Emerging Discourse‘ in New Delhi on November 29. The discussion engaged a number of experts from across several sectors that interface directly with the DPDPB and therefore, are bracing for major changes as the Bill becomes law, such as in right to information, policy, and state surveillance. For more information about the event, click here.

Bhavin Patel, co-author here at and part of Bayside Advisors, presented a short talk entitled ‘Privacy and Innovation Trade-offs: Unique Dimensions in the Indian Context’ at the event, in which he argued that the ‘trade-off’ in question isn’t so much about innovation versus privacy concerns, as it is about the difficulty of innovating in a confusing, inconsistent, and often unpredictable regulatory environment. Here’s a video of Bhavin’s talk (at 48:44):


Here’s the accompanying slide deck:

We’d love to hear your thoughts and responses to our talk – whether you work in policy, academia, an in-house department at an organisation that deals with personal data, a law firm, or especially if you’re an innovator working on the next big world-changing idea! Please do reach out to us at the coordinates below:

Bhavin Patel (
Hemant Krishna V. (

[Photo credit: Photo by Andrew Worley on Unsplash]

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