As 2019 has started we thought it would be a good opportunity to outline the priority areas and strategy for the Policy & Advocacy team in India for the first half of the year. We’re really excited about these plans and to harness the power of our communities and Mozilla for our shared values.
Policy & Advocacy Team Plans
The focus for the policy and advocacy team in India for 2019 is privacy and data protection. While the policy team will of course work on some other issues as the need and opportunity arises (for example, see some of our work on intermediary liability, OTT regulation), privacy and data protection will continue to be the focus of our advocacy actions.
It’s essential that India has a strong and robust privacy law that protects and empowers citizens. That’s why Mozilla has been campaigning to push the government to enact such a law.
- Last year, when the Justice Srikrishna Committee drafted a data protection bill, we pushed the government to make the law stronger.
- We published a full page open letter in the Hindustan Times signed by thousands of Mozilians and Mitchell Baker advocating for changes to make the law stronger.
- When the bill was expected to be introduced in the Parliament, we ran a twitter and phone campaign so that the loopholes were fixed in time. We have heard that some of the changes we demanded, have already been made!
- Unfortunately, this winter session of Parliament concluded without any real progress on the bill.
- The next opportunity to move this bill will be during the next session of Parliament after elections, around July 2019.
Till then, we can and must still continue to put pressure on the government so that they know that privacy matters to Indians!
For this, we need to increase the number of people who care about privacy and are willing to speak up and support this campaign. The Mozilla policy and community development team in India hope to support the community over the next few months to create awareness around privacy and data protection:
- (for example) Events, informal gatherings and twitter/reddit AMAs aimed at sharing best practices, simple illustrations for why privacy matters to Indians, and discussions around the draft law.
- The Policy team will be happy to pitch in to brainstorm ideas for events and connect the community to potential speakers.
- The Community Development support team will be there to connect community groups with resources and other support as described in the section below
Community Development Support: Mrinalini Dayal & Alok Ranjan (India Community Bridge)
Alok and I have been working with the Community Development Team to streamline a process and system that allows visibility and a common platform for all groups through the ‘Group Registration Pilot’. We are really excited to work on amplifying and supporting the different communities in India that are actively working on or interested in Data Protection & Privacy. Our goals for the first half of the year are:
- Identify and escalate the leadership of individuals and groups in the community that are interested in activities and actions related to privacy and data protection, including the campaign for a strong data protection law in India .
- Provide/connect the community with the resources and systems that make it easier and smoother to take actions.
- Getting connected to speakers and issue experts
- Opportunities for trainings and resources on privacy
- Process to make budget requests through Reps has been simplified. Now you can use the ‘category: evangelism mission’ & ‘initiative: other’
- Ideas for community events and actions
- Groups and communities are already taking a number of actions that are increasing the number of people talking about/connected to the larger campaign. We want to reach out to more community groups and individuals who are similarly energized on the issue of privacy and data protection
- Since July is expected to be the next session of Parliament, from June onwards, the policy and advocacy teams intend to run a campaign to put pressure on decision makers to pass a strong data protection law. The larger our community campaign on this, the more pressure we can build!
If you or your group are looking for help, not sure where to get started or just want to bounce ideas related to privacy or data protection please write to Alok Ranjan and attend his office hours. (link to discourse post)
- They take place on: Wednesday 7 pm to 9 pm & Friday- 6 pm to 8 pm. To schedule a meeting please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or ping him on telegram @alokranjan30
- If you would like to reach out to me please write to email@example.com or ping on telegram @mrinalinid
- For speaker requests please email Alok, myself or Amba directly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Amba & Jochai (policy) Alok & Mrinalini (community bridge) and Sara (advocacy)