Safeguarding Children’s Informational Privacy in India

An Assessment of the Framework Under the PDP Bill, 2019

Children today constitute the fastest growing internet user base. The regulatory approach to the issue will have implications on their right to privacy, right to access the internet and also their right to autonomous development. Simultaneously, it will impact and potentially alter the data processing designs of big tech in India. This paper is aimed towards identifying key threats to children’s privacy. In the context of these, an assessment of international and cross jurisdictional framework is undertaken. The paper finds that most jurisdictions are still at a nascent stage in developing an appropriate regulatory framework for this issue. India’s proposed approach is evaluated in juxtaposition to these jurisdictions. After this principled analysis of the regulatory framework, an analysis of the regulatory solutions is undertaken. We find that the centrality placed on age verification and parental consent mechanisms is unwarranted and indeed counter productive to the protection of children. The paper culminates with proposing focus areas that the DPA should consider going forward.