Just imagine if there was no internet, no smartphones, and no laptops. So how would our life be?
It is impossible to run our lives without technology. It plays a vast role in our daily lives. During this pandemic period, working lives became much easier than ever because of technology. With the evaluation of new technology, countless changes occur in our lives, like in education, health, entertainment, legal work, and security. We use technology to exchange information from one person to another person all over the world and it is only possible because of technology. Technology has helped a lot of students, scholars, and researchers. They can easily access the materials with a single click. Before that, people used to spend hours in the library seeking information from various secondary sources.
It has positive and negative impacts on the world. We share our private information on social media, do transactions daily. This information is easily available to spammers, hackers, and potential fraudsters who threaten people by stealing their secret information. The new trends in technology have increased the crime rates. Lots of threats are committed by hackers, like cybercrimes, cyber-attacks, cyber terrorism, and malware. The hackers plan their criminal activities, which involve computer systems and network devices. These activities are carried out by individuals or groups of people who are technology experts and have the skills to hack into the systems of the victim people, and here technology law plays a major role.
The term technology is derived from the Greek word “Techne” which means skill or art and “Logia” which means the collection of tools including machinery or procedures used by humans. Technology is the branch of knowledge that is used in specific fields. It is a method or technique for the production of goods and services. Whereas technology law is the body of law that governs the use of technology, and it protects the patents and copyrights of individuals and ensures that nobody can infringe them.
Technology law is a vast area of law that has high demand in the legal market. With the rise of technology, it provides an online platform for the growth of businesses, consumers, and entrepreneurs. It takes the world to another level of progress. During the pandemic era, the internet became the most important source of our livelihood, and it opened opportunities for technology law. Tech law also covers IPR, copyrights, patent rights, cyber law, and information law.
SOURCES OF TECHNOLOGY LAW
The Sources of technology law include federal laws, state laws, and international laws. There are various federal laws like the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015, and the National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2015.
A state has civil and criminal law which prohibits offences that are committed by electronic devices, like forgery, hacking, making false documents, infringement of copyright, and penalizes the offenders. As cybercrimes increase all over the world, cybersecurity is becoming a major issue throughout the world. Countless numbers of transactions and meetings are conducted across national boundaries. Hence, there are various international treaties and agreements which manage the usage of technology in the world.
TECHNOLOGY LAWS IN INDIA
The usage of technology is increasing day by day, and crime rates are also increasing. It is necessary to develop certain laws which prevent and punish the misuse of technology. In India, there is only one Information Technology Act that governs the activities of technology and makes certain amendments to previous laws.
1. Information Technology Act,2000
The IT Act came into force on October 17, 2000. The United Nations Commission on Inter-National Trade (UNCITRAL) adopted the model law on Electronic Commerce in 1996 to bring uniformity in the laws of various countries after this IT law was enacted in India. The law deals with electronic transactions, communication, and electronic filing of documents with government agencies. This law gives recognition to electronic and digital signatures. It also ensures the security of digital records and signatures.
2. Indian Penal Code,1860
There were certain sections of the IPC that dealt with documents and records based on paper and physical records, but the IT Act amended these sections and extended them to include electronic records and documents. The sections which are invoked by the IT Act are sections 463, 464, 468, 469, 470, 474, 477A.
3. The Indian Evidence Act,1872
The Information Technology Act gives legal recognition to signatures, records, and documents in a similar way. It also recognizes the evidence. Section 65B deals with the admissibility of electronic records.
DATA PRIVACY LAW IN INDIA
Breach of data privacy is the most common offence in this scenario. When fraudsters or hackers misuse technology to steal the personal data or information of any person, it is known as a breach of data privacy, which has increased like anything due to the massive use of technology. For this reason, it is necessary to make laws on data privacy that deal with the protection of privacy and penalize offenders. The Data Privacy Bill 2019, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019, was drafted by the Indian Parliament. This bill protects personal data for individuals and sets up a Data Protection Authority.
The bill has certain regulations on-
- A data fiduciary’s obligation.
- It has grounds for processing personal data.
- Social media intermediaries.
- Transfer of data outside India.
- The bill has introduced three types of Data-Personal data, Sensitive personal data, Critical data.
- The bill also includes penalties for processing and transferring personal data. Minor violations are punishable by a fine of Rs.5 crores or 2% of global turnover, while serious violations are punishable by a fine of Rs.15 crores or 4% of the fiduciary’s annual turnover.
- The bill exempted the agencies of the Central Government from the main integrity and security of the country and its friendly relations with other nations. It also prevents the commission of any cognizable offence, like arrest without a warrant.
Technology has taken the world by storm. People were restricted to one place during the pandemic, but the internet played a major role in performing various tasks throughout the world without moving from one place to another. Technology has opened various doors of opportunity for my career.
Technology in the legal sector is known as legal tech, law technology, or law tech, and regulatory technology. It provides better legal assistance to the clients and it provides more efficiency in tackling the issues. From filing a case to judgement, everything can be done in an online mode. This pandemic promotes digital or virtual work like anything. Since last year, every person has been bound to stay at their home and work virtually. From the education of small kids to the hearing of the Supreme Court or various High Courts of India, done virtually.
There are various software and applications which provide all the case laws with their citations, legal books, and various research papers and journals. An advocate or law student can easily search for any topic with a single click. There is no need to follow the traditional route or spend hours in the library. People of the legal fraternity are connected all over the world. A client does not need to visit an advocate’s office for advice or sign any document. It provides tools for potential clients to reach out to the best lawyers for particular laws. There is no doubt it reduced the time and provided excellent and efficient services to the clients. Various law firms are using the applications to manage their financial accounts, storage of case files, excellent research tools.
FUTURE OF LEGAL TECHNOLOGY
There is no doubt that the scope of legal technology is vast; it opens up various career paths for law students. They can work at a global level, and it provides various remote opportunities. Day by day, technology is updating itself. Every coin has two sides. Even though the technology is the most important part of our lives, we cannot remain blind to the rise in cybercrime. It will provide a roadmap to amend the existing laws and make several laws on technology and the offences that are occurring due to misuse.
The most appealing area of law is technology. Young lawyers are willing to pursue their career paths. The invention of new technology has transformed the world and allowed us to work freely without moving around. It cannot be denied that with the development of modern technology, cybercrimes have also increased in the world, and cybersecurity is the major issue. In India, there is only one IT Act which deals with technology and offences. Last but not least, “Technology is best when it brings people together”.
Author(s) Name: Raksha Yadav (Karnataka State Law University)