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Founder & Editor, MediaNama

Date & Time

Sat, 2 Apr 2022

Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

What is data? And why is it important that citizens have a right to privacy over their data?

As it turns out, We are data.

Digital rights activist, journalist and founder of MEdianama, Nikhil Pahwa in this conversation with financial journalist Mitali Mukherjee gives us a 101 on the concept of data privacy. Can one look at data from the perspective of a right and how is it connected to the freedom of expression.
While understanding how and how much data can possibly be collected about one person is in itself mind boggling, this episode gives us an insight into the three important aspects of data within the indian context – Privacy, security and governance.

With economic growth taking a central role and data being compared to oil as a national asset, Data protection rights and privacy is seen as an obstruction – therefore leaving us with the question – is privacy a fundamental right?



Nikhil Pahwa

Founder & Editor, MediaNama

Nikhil Pahwa is the Founder and Editor of MediaNama, a leading publication chronicling the evolution of digital policy in India. An expert on the topics of Internet governance, privacy, data localisation, censorship, online content regulation, Aadhaar and net neutrality, Nikhil’s columns have appeared in Foreign Policy, Rest of the World, Quartz, Wired (UK), the Times of India, Bloomberg Quint, The Indian Express, The Quint, Scroll.in, The Wire, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Economic Times, Mint and TED Ideas blog among others.

Nikhil led the #Savetheinternet campaign for Net Neutrality in India, which was the largest grassroots campaign in the history of India, with over a million people participating, which led to the shut-down of Facebook’s Free Basics. He also co-founded the Internet Freedom Foundation which focuses on advocacy for digital rights in India. He has been a part of initiatives for free speech, privacy and protection of safe harbor in India, as well as the push-back against Aadhaar, the largest biometric identity project in the world.

Nikhil has earned several accolades for his work including the TED Fellowship, the Asia21 Fellowship and he was also named one of India Today Magazine’s “Indians of Tomorrow”. He has been profiled in Forbes, Wired and GQ, and is on the advisory board of the CyberBRICS project. His publication MediaNama was also awarded as an Ecosystem Builder by Fortune Magazine in 2016.

Mitali Mukherjee


Mitali Mukherjee is one of the most well known faces in the world of business journalism. With over 15 years experience in the television industry, she has handled a wide range of roles-from political, global & local economic reportage, to live conferences .She’s a TEDx Speaker and 2017 alumna of the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD).

Mitali is Consulting Business Editor at Editorji Technologies. She has also co- founded MoneyMile and samarthan.in. A key focus area for her is spreading awareness amongst women on the need & importance of investing.

She is former Markets & News Editor at CNBC TV18 . Over the last 18 years, she has worked with the TV18 Network, The TV Today group, Doordarshan (India’s National Broadcaster) & BBC World.

A gold medallist in Television Journalism from IIMC, Delhi and a gold medallist in Political Science , Mitali brings a unique perspective to her interaction connects instantly with audiences & viewers alike.
She has also been committed to the cause of children’s education – Mitali works with children with learning disabilities like dyslexia , dyscalculia & dysgraphia. She has an A+ postgraduate degree from SNDT University, Mumbai.