Virtual Private Network (VPN) raises concerns against the Indian Government’s new orders about keeping customers’ Data for five years and then handling it to authorities when asked for. The order, which was passed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s agency (CERT-In) last week and is coming into force from June 28, directs VPN service providers to preserve data, including the validated names, email IDs, and IP addresses of their users for five years or longer “as mandated by the law” even after cancellation or withdrawal of their registration.
Due to this new order passed, lots of VPN companies, especially NordVPN, are set to leave the country if the government does not provide the freedom to serve their customer privately in their way. At the same time, legal advocacy groups are suggesting the government remove the requirements violating user privacy.
Why has the Indian Government passed this order?
The information given by VPN services may help the Indian government to solve various cybercrime-related cases, and it would be easy for them to get the identity of a person very quickly. The government could also find cybercriminals using VPNs for various Malicious Activities through this.
The order is aimed to help limit cybercrime and cybersecurity incidents in the country. Failing to furnish the information or non-compliance with the directions may invite “punitive action” under sub-section (7) of section 70B of the IT Act, 2000, and other applicable laws.
What does the Government want from VPN companies?
The Government only wants companies not to privatize their customer’s data or keep it for a long time with them, and after some years, they should share data with the government.
The data asked by Government is,
- Name, email address, and phone number
- The customer’s purpose for using the VPN service
- The IP addresses allotted to the customer and the IP address the customer used to sign up with the service
- The “ownership pattern” of the customer
But mostly, all the companies are declining the order passed by the government and are planning to end their services in India.