Digital Privacy and Security (Cyber Security) by Rayan Singh Virdi (Intern)


“Who Watches the Watchman?”


The main objective of this paper is to focus on the cyber-crime and privacy of the public. According to the report of Statista there are 4.57 billion users in the world and the global online penetration rate is 59.6%[1] in which china has the highest number of users, 854 million followed by India 560 million and U.S. 296.89 million.[2] Day by day the usage of internet is increasing and becoming a part of lifestyle. In 21st century biggest concern is related to online privacy; people are frightened of the fact that their personal information might leak on the web.

In day to day life, we come across cases like cyber hacking, credit card theft, tracked by visiting web sites or by clicking pop up, personal information and email id is captured and send to 3rd party without even notifying us for the purpose of sell it, because they see personal information as a source of income, hacking bank account, taping phone to hacking personal account is increasing day by day and because of this, people don’t think they are safe.

Now a days anything can be hacked it can be your camera, cellphone, laptops, T.V, CCTV anything that is connected to the internet. When we install apps or create an account on social media sites, we give them permission to access our personal data like camera, gallery, contacts, notifications without reading their terms and conditions and this increases their ability to collect, target and monitor our data.

What is Digital Privacy?

With more devices and people connected to the web, the phrase “digital privacy” has become increasingly important. Digital Privacy is a collective definition that encompasses three sub-related categories and those are: -

1.      Information Privacy: - In the context of digital privacy, information privacy means every individual should have the right to determine how their information should be collected and used.

2.      Communication Privacy: - In the context of digital privacy, communication privacy is the notion that every individual should have the right to communicate information digitally with the expectation of believing that their communication medium is secure and it is only read by the receiver not by anybody else.

3.      Individual Privacy: - In the context of digital privacy, individual privacy means that everybody has a right to move freely on internet and they can choose what type information should be exposed and more importantly they should not be interrupted by any unwanted information.

Cyber Security

Internet has almost changed the day to day life style of every person, now a days you don’t know how and when you are been tracked and by whom. Even this information is being sold over the internet for just 1 dollar. People are being threatened, harassed, blackmailed on web. Their photos are morphed and misused. Through internet has revolutionized the world and it has become a global village now but we cannot deny the negative aspects of it. We need to admit that everything we do on web can be noticed because it leaves digital traces.


The primary concerns before us is information security. We are just one click away to get large amount of information, though it gives us overwhelming amount of information, it also leads to leak of large amounts of our information to the rest of the world, the reason why hackers get access to data easily are: -

1.      Unsafe web browsing practices

2.      Cookies and web tracking

3.      Data collection

4.      Spying and Snooping

5.      Information Mishandling

6.      Location Tracking

7.      IP address tracking

Even the top most companies cannot ensure 100% guarantee of data privacy there are certain incidents and cases which shows that our data is not secure in this digital world. In 2019, ₹ 35,000 crore fine was imposed on Facebook by America and this was highest fine in decade that was imposed on any of the companies for leaking the personal data of public. Facebook repeatedly used deceptive disclosures and settings to undermine user’s privacy preferences in violation of its 2012 Federal Trade Commission order.[3] These tactics allowed the company to share user’s personal information with third-party apps that were downloaded by the user’s Facebook “friends”, on July 24, 2019 FTC announced to impose fine on Facebook.[4]


An individual must take responsibility for his information and should protect his personal information rather than giving information to any sites, or clicking to any pop up. Most important he should understand where to give information and where not to and what should be given and what not. As Clive Humby, UK Mathematician and architect of Tesco’ Clubcard, said “Data is the new oil” and was further courted by Dr. James Bellini “Data is the new oil of the 21st Century”[5]. Opt the most secure Internet browser like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Scan your files with anti-virus software before downloading it. Don’t repeat passwords for multiple websites. Remember to always turn on your browser's pop up blocker and to set their settings of the browser to delete cookies every time you finish browsing. This will automatically remove data that you entered.


[1] J. Clement, ‘Global digital population as of April 2020’ (Statista, 04 June 2020) <> accessed 07 June 2020
[2] J. Clement, ‘Countries with the highest number of internet users as of June 2019’ (Statista, 07 June 2020) <> accessed 07 June 2020
[3] Reuters, ‘Facebook to Pay Record $5 billion US FTC Fine Over Privacy, Faces Antitrust Probe’ (Gadgets NDTV, 25 July 2019) <> accessed 07 June 2020
[4] FTC, ‘FTC Imposes $5 Billion Penalty and Sweeping New Privacy Restrictions on Facebook’ (FTC, 24 July 2019) <> accessed 07 May 2020
[5] James Butcher, ‘Data is the new oil’ (S4RB, 18 December 2019) <> accessed 05 May 2020