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Business News/ Ai / Artificial Intelligence/  India must urgently enact law to regulate AI, SC lawyer Pavan Duggal says
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India must urgently enact law to regulate AI, SC lawyer Pavan Duggal says

He highlighted that while the Information Technology Act 2000 and its subsequent amendments, such as the IT Rules 2021, have made strides in securing the cyber ecosystem, these measures fall short in the face of emerging technologies and their challenges.

Pavan Duggal, Supreme Court lawyer and cyber law expert.Premium
Pavan Duggal, Supreme Court lawyer and cyber law expert.

New Delhi: India urgently needs to enact a law to regulate the artificial intelligence technology, Pavan Duggal, Supreme Court lawyer and cyber law expert, said on Friday at the Mint Digital Innovation Summit 2024.

Duggal highlighted how other nations are already ahead in AI regulation. “The European Union has its AI Act, China has laws regulating generative AI, and New York has taken steps to prevent AI from perpetuating bias or interfering with elections," he said. He warned that without similar legislative measures, India risks falling behind in the global digital race.

Gaps in India's legal framework

He stressed the significant gaps in India's current legal framework, describing it as outdated and ill-equipped to handle the rapid advancements in AI and cybersecurity.

Also Read: Global discussions on AI regulation must not miss the Global South's interests

“India is on a remarkable journey towards a $1 trillion digital economy by 2028," Duggal said, acknowledging the potential of the nation's digital growth. However, he cautioned that this ambitious target is contingent on creating robust legal structures to manage the complexities of digital transformation. “The Information Technology Act, 2000, our mother legislation, is now 24-years old. It simply cannot address the nuances of today's digital and AI advancements," Duggal explained.

He further highlighted that while the IT Act and its subsequent amendments, such as the IT Rules 2021, have made strides in securing the cyber ecosystem, these measures fall short in the face of emerging technologies and their challenges. “We do not have a dedicated law on AI or cybersecurity. The only recourse we have is the IT Directions 2022, which mandates reporting cybersecurity breaches within six hours. This is not enough," Duggal remarked.

Also Read: Centre to soon bring amendments to IT rules to curb deepfakes

Duggal also mentioned the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, which, although passed, is yet to be implemented. He noted that this law could be a game-changer if enforced rigorously. “With fines up to 250 crore for non-compliance, this Act could significantly impact how personal data is managed. It’s a catalyst for ensuring diligence, transparency, and responsibility in data handling," he noted.

The lawyer also discussed what he called the "great Indian vomiting revolution" and the "great Indian recording revolution," referring to the vast amounts of personal data being shared and recorded without due consideration of privacy and legal implications. “Indians are generating humongous volumes of data, but traditionally, we have not valued data. This mindset must change," Duggal asserted.

He also warned that India lacks any legislation to protect companies from ransomware attacks.

"India cannot afford to play catch-up; the world is looking to us for thought leadership. We must ensure that everyone contributes to the digital transformation process, emphasizing the need for political will and proactive measures to secure India's digital future," he said.

Also Read | India to come up with AI regulations framework by June-July this year: Report

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Krishna Yadav
Krishna, a lawyer turned journalist, is a key member of Mint's corporate team. He covers major legal battles in Delhi's courtrooms, with a focus on finance, markets, and policy. Additionally, he crafts easy-to-understand explainers for complex stories and holds a PG Diploma from the renowned Asian College of Journalism.
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Published: 24 May 2024, 09:17 PM IST
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