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The Privacy Advisor | Whoa, (New) Delhi! City hosts its first KnowledgeNet meeting Related reading: KnowledgeNets begin to reach deep into Latin America

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Just when you thought the privacy community's inevitable march towards global dominance had reached its peak: Bam, another KnowledgeNet is born. 

New Delhi, India, was the site of the April 7 meeting, which served as the first gathering for this trial chapter. Law firm Trilegal hosted the event, which was run by the KNet co-chair, Kapil Chaudhary. 

IAPP Managing Director for Asia Rona Morgan, CIPP/A, said the meeting was the result of a booming privacy culture and community in India. "The Bangalore chapter is expanding itself, and we added a new KNet in Chennai," she said.

The increased interest in privacy isn't without data to back it up, either. 

 "IAPP membership in India has almost doubled in the past year," Morgan continued. "In addition, the introduction of Aadhaar has increased public awareness of privacy and personal data protection issues." The oft-controversial Aadhaar proposal is a digital identification system currently subject to much debate in India. It has spurred questions regarding data ownership, cybersecurity and privacy, and the government's role in each. 

In light of these Aadhaar-born questions, the meeting's coverage of  “Security & Privacy concerns for a Cashless India" catalyzed considerable conversation among the 27 attendees, Morgan said. The BSA Software Alliance's Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy also provided insights and perspective.  

The meeting proved there is a future for this trial chapter.

"The participants expressed a keen desire to have regular meet-ups and found this a great way for an informal exchange of ideas, as well as an opportunity to discuss the hot button issues on privacy, data protection and cybersecurity confronting all of us," Morgan said. As a result, the search is on for additional volunteer co-chairs to help out with the chapter, "especially given the large geographic area of New Delhi," Morgan said. 

Its success has significant big-picture implications, as well. With the increased privacy and data protection regulation in the region, as well as laws like the General Data Protection Regulation set to, though based in the EU, impact Asia, more companies and professionals are realizing they have to stay informed on these issues. Thus, "The idea is to enlarge the expanding group of privacy professionals in India and offer a platform for privacy thinkers, policy professionals, and in-house- and law-firm lawyers to provide thought-leadership in this field," Chaudhary said. 

Morgan added that these hopes weren't merely pipe dreams. "New Delhi has the potential to be a large chapter because of its geographical spread, which included the satellite tech towns of Noida and Gurgaon, as well as being close to government," she said. 

Member Engagement Specialist Leah Harrington agreed. "It has been great to work with IAPP members in India who help spread privacy education awareness around the globe." 

 Photo curtesy of Kapil Chaudhary. 

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