Data Protection and Theft; Forms of Data in Law Firms


Forms of Data in Law Firms

The ( Indian ) Information Technology Act, 2000 ( hereinafter referred to as theAct) trades with the issues associating to payment of compensation ( Civil ) and penalty ( Criminal ) in instance of unlawful revelation and abuse of personal informations and misdemeanor of contractual footings in regard of personal informations.

Data is defined under Section 2 ( O ) of the information Technology Act, 2000 as:

“data means a representation of information, cognition, facts, constructs or instructions which are being prepared or have been prepared in a formalistic mode, and is intended to be processed, is being processed or has been processed in a computing machine system or computing machine web, and may be in any signifier ( including computing machine printouts magnetic or optical storage media, punched cards, punched tapes ) or stored internally in the memory of the computing machine ; “

Law houses have an huge pool of critical and private informations and its use in any other mode, other than the direction of the client raises an ethical and legal inquiry. In order to obtain legal advice a client frequently confide with the jurisprudence house with abashing inside informations, classified information, hereafter programs. Therefore it is of extreme importance that such informations be protected.

Additionally, it is to be noted that the duties of jurisprudence houses to protect confidential information begins merely after the creative activity of a relationship of an lawyer and client. [ 1 ]

Furthermore, The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 under subdivisions 126 to 129 trades with the privileged communicating that is attached to professional communicating between a legal advisor and the client. It prohibits lawyers from unwraping any communications exchanged with the client and saying the contents or conditions of paperss in ownership of the legal adviser in class of and for the latter ‘s employment with the client. The duty which is carried by the lawyer while discoursing with the client, is besides to be maintained within a jurisprudence house which engages the services of assorted lawyers.

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Consequence and obstructions to informations larceny

The electronic nature of informations leaves a agape hole for development and hence larceny mostly goes unnoticed until the disclosure by the culprits of such larceny. Further the consequence of informations larceny in a jurisprudence house shall ensue in hiding such a fact from the client and the populace in general to avoid any embarrassment, reputational harm and decreased client assurance for inability to take any action to restrict such larceny. Section 72A of the Act provides that revelation of information, wittingly and deliberately, without the consent of the individual concerned and in breach of the lawful contract has been besides made punishable with imprisonment for a term widening to three old ages and all right extending to INR 5,00,000 ( Approx. US $ 10750 ) . Further Section 72 of the Act provides for punishment for breach of confidentiality and privateness. The Section provides that any individual who, in pursuit of any of the powers conferred under the Act, Rules or Regulations made thereunder, has secured entree to any electronic record, book, registry, correspondence, information, papers or other stuff without the consent of the individual concerned, discloses such stuff to any other individual, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may widen to two old ages, or with all right which may widen to INR 100,000, or with both.

Method of informations protection

Many of the exposures that exist in protection of informations from larceny exists due to the insufficiencies present in the computing machine system decision makers. Further, even if such loopholes are adequately covered by the coders and decision makers, the trust, freedom to work, enjoyed by the employees and advocators working with a jurisprudence house enable them to work such a place to their ain advantage. Further by virtuousness of Section 43A of the Act, any organic structure corporate including a house may be held responsible for leak of sensitive information or information in instance it is negligent in implementing and keeping a sensible security criterions and process. Further in instance any unlawful loss is caused in effect of such leak, the house shall be responsible to pay compensation every bit good as amendss to such a individual affected. In order to control such abuse of informations usage assorted houses employ assorted tactics. Titus & A ; Co. , a jurisprudence house based out of New Delhi, does non let impermanent employees, or housemans to transport any nomadic devices into their office premises.

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Reasonable security patterns and processs is defined under Explanation ( two ) of Section 43A of the Act as security patterns and processs designed to protect such information from unauthorized entree, harm, usage, alteration, revelation or damage as may be specified in an understanding between the parties or as may be specified in any jurisprudence for the clip.

Furthermore the Government of India in conference of the powers granted under Section 87 read with Section 43A of the Act, framed the Information Technology ( Reasonable security patterns and processs and sensitive personal informations or information ) Rules, 2011 ( hereinafter referred to as the Rules ) . Rule 3 of the Rules defines sensitive personal informations or information as any information affecting the fiscal information, watchwords, physical, psychological status, sexual orientation, biometric information or any clause of a contract. Further, Rule 4 and 5 of the Rules prescribes that sensitive informations and information held by a organic structure corporate or any individual on its behalf, so a privateness policy for managing of or covering in personal information including sensitive personal informations or information shall be prepared by the organic structure corporate and it shall guarantee that the same is available for position by such suppliers of information who has provided such information under lawful contract.

Additionally, Rule 4 of the Rules provinces that revelation of any personal informations or information requires the anterior permission of the supplier of the information.

It is pertinent to observe that the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, vide Press note dated 24.11.2011 has clarified that the Rules were applicable on jurisprudence houses. [ 2 ]

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Furthermore, the Bar Council of India, the statutory authorization which regulates and represents the Indian saloon authorizations that an advocator shall non transgress the duties imposed upon him/her under Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act. [ 3 ]


Undoubtedly, the construct of informations larceny and protection is at a nascent phase in India. Whoever there are grounds for exultation with the Data Privacy Protection Bill, 2013 pending in the parliament. Further the framers of the Rules have attempted to follow thoughts from legal powers which have long standing and mature informations protection ordinances. These Rules are merely hence a first measure. Furthermore, rigorous execution of the jurisprudence and healthy development of the informations privateness and protection law in the long tally is what one needs to watch out for.