Post demonetization and a step towards a digital economy, there has been a steep increase in the number of payment portals, online banking services of both private and public banks, mobile wallets, and cryptocurrencies in the country. This is also because India’s huge telecom sector gave Indians the very important thing that was needed to access all these services and much more for free.
But was the Indian legal system equipped enough to handle such a step which aimed to bring over new 200 million users on the high-speed 4G network? This was bound to increase crimes on the internet.
According to the reports published by Nokia, the average data consumption of every Indian per month has gone to 11 GB which has made India the world’s largest data consumer. This has also increased the gross amount and number of online transactions.
In January 2018, digital transactions reached an all-time high in volume and rose to 4.73% to 1.11 billion, according to the provisional data published by RBI. Due to this increase in the online transactions and use of the high-speed 4G network, India also saw a rise in cybercrimes which included frauds and identity thefts. According to a report published by KPMG, the cyber-crimes have gone up by 50% in 2017.
Also, more than 32 lack debit and credit cards or public and private sector banks were compromised. The IT minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad in a reply to Rajya Sabha raised concerns about the increase in cybercrimes. This establishes that the people of India weren’t ready for such a step. However, law enforcement agencies have seen this data and have taken steps to curb this menace.
“Cybersecurity is critical for safeguarding the integrity and stability of our financial sector. A Computer Emergency Response Team for Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) will be established”, said Mr Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget 2017-18 in Lok Sabha.
The CERT deals with cybercrimes in India and has done quite a well job in solving it and a specific team deals with the problems in the Finance Sector. This is surely a step in the right direction. The Union government, through CERT, has created a ‘crisis management plan’ to prevent any kind of cyber-attacks and have also advised in organizing mock drills to be ready for such attacks. Both the private sector and public sector organizations have started to follow this management plan as well.
In conclusion, the increase in data usage in India has given rise to online thefts and frauds and however, the LEA’s weren’t equipped for the same in 2016 but the latest policies and the actions by the executive are sure to bring the criminals and wrongdoers to justice and help the aggrieved citizens of the country. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is yet to be passed. Till then we have no such concrete laws for cyber crimes which are increasing day by day. The Information Technology Act, 2000 deals with some issues but we need still need a concrete law to deal with such a vast amount of cybercrimes.