The advent of technology has revolutionized several sectors and the law is no exception. In India, one major legislation that governs the use of computers, computer networks, data, and information in electronic format is the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act).
At SimranLaw, a renowned law firm in Chandigarh, our legal experts are continually studying, applying, and interpreting this legislation. This article aims to present the key provisions of the IT Act and its consequential impact on the technology legal practice area in India.
Key Provisions of the IT Act:
1. Digital Signature and Electronic Signature (Section 3 and Section 15): These sections authenticate e-documents by giving legal recognition to digital signatures and electronic signatures if the process involved can ensure its security.
2. Establishment of Certifying Authorities (Section 4): This serves to regulate issues concerning digital signature certificates.
3. Electronic Governance (Section 4 to Section 10A): This section includes legal recognition of electronic records, acknowledgement of electronic records, notarization, and other aspects that ensure an efficient e-governance framework.
4. Regulation of Cyber Crimes (Section 65 to Section 78): Various cyber crimes like hacking, identity theft, cheating by personation and violation of privacy are covered under these sections with strict penalties and punishments.
5. Establishment of Cyber Appellate Tribunal (Section 48): The tribunal hears appeals against orders passed by the Adjudicating Officer under this Act.
6. Protection of Data (Section 43A and Section 72A): These sections provide for compensation in case of failure to protect sensitive personal data or information, and punishment for disclosure of information in breach of lawful contract.
Impact on Technology Legal Practice:
The IT Act has significantly influenced the legal practices related to technology in India. Here are some aspects demonstrating its impact:
1. Legal Recognition to E-Commerce: The Act gives legal validity to transactions carried out through electronic data exchange or other means of electronic communication.
2. Increased Cyber Crime Litigation: With the rise of cyber crimes, there has been an increase in litigation related to cyber law. For instance, in Avinash Bajaj vs State (2005), the CEO of Baazee.com, an eBay subsidiary was held responsible for an offensive video clip listed on the website by a user. The case highlighted the need for intermediaries to exercise due diligence under Section 79.
3. Importance of Data Protection: In Puttaswamy vs Union Of India (2017), the constitutional bench declared privacy as a fundamental right under Articles 14, 19 and 21. This judgment significantly impacted how companies collect, store and use data.
4. Increasing Need for Legal Expertise in Technology: With increasing complexity in technology laws, there is an increased demand for legal experts specialized in technology law.
Understanding the IT Act’s key provisions and its impact serves as the initial step towards bringing about a more robust legal framework concerning information technology. As legal professionals at SimranLaw, we’re committed to staying abreast of these developments, ensuring our clients are well-represented and advised in their technology-related legal issues.