B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
B.A. LL.B, Symbiosis Law School, Pune
LL.M. in International Legal Studies, New York University School of Law)
Smitha’s primary research interests focus on issues around privacy, data protection and surveillance. During her Master’s Programme at New York University School of Law, she was also an International Finance and Development Fellow.
She also works on questions of emerging technology and law, and the expansion of tech regulation through legal and economic policy making initiatives. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Digital Asia Hub, where she is involved in research related to the governance of platforms, and more broadly digital infrastructure used to deliver public services.
Previously, Smitha was a Director at the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi, where she lead the Centre’s research, policy and capacity building work in relation to multiple questions related to technology law and policy developments in India. She has also worked with the Technology, Media and Telecoms, practice group at Nishith Desai Associates. During this time, she has worked regularly on matters dealing with data protection and privacy laws, regulatory and legal issues in relation to big data and data analytics, digital and new media matters, and regulatory issues and laws applicable to e-commerce businesses, and payment systems and mechanisms in India.
o Co-authored and reviewed a report on Privacy and the Indian Supreme Court, published by the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi, August 2020.
o Co-authored and reviewed a report on Hate Speech Laws inIndia, published by the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi, May 2018.
Papers and articles:
o State Sovereignty in the Cyberspace and the Free Flow of Data in the edited volume ‘Regulating the Cyberspace: Perspectives from Asia’ published by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
o PlayingCatch Up – Privacy Regimes in South Asia, International Journal of Human Rights, Special Issue on ‘The Right to privacy in the digital age: Different perspectives around the globe’. (co-authored)
o InformationFiduciaries and India’s Data Protection Law published by Data Catalyst.
o Carpenter v. United States: StateSurveillance and Citizen Privacy, NALSAR Student Law Review Vol 13(1). (co-authored)
o Reading ‘Necessity’ in India’s New Data Protection Bill, published in Digital Debates, the CyFy Journal 2018 by the Observer Research Foundation. (co-authored)
o Towards a Data Protection Framework, published by the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi (co-authored)
o Back to the Basics: Framing a New Data Protection Law for India, published by the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi
o Information Technology Act, 2000 and theData Protection Rules, published by the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi
o Amidst COVID-19, Who is Watching Over Children’s Data on Ed-Tech Platforms, The Bastion, June 2020. Available at https://thebastion.co.in/debate/amidst-covid-19-who-is-watching-over-childrens-data-on-ed-tech-platforms/
o Aarogya Setu app lacks clear legal backing and limits, tends towards surveillance, Deccan Herald, May 2020. Available at https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/sunday-spotlight/aarogya-setu-app-lacks-clear-legal-backing-and-limits-tends-towards-surveillance-835692.html
o Surveillance Without Safeguards In The Pandemic, Article 14, April 2020. Available at https://www.article-14.com/post/pandemic-in-india-spurs-surveillance-without-safeguards
o Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Protecting children’s data online, in Medianama, January 2020. Available at https://www.medianama.com/2020/01/223-pdp-bill-2019-children-protection/.
o How Press Note 2 will govern Ecommerce marketplaces in India, in Medianama, February 2019. Available at https://www.medianama.com/2019/02/223-press-note-2-smitha-krishna-prasad/.
o Untangle the Privacy Law, in BW Business World, August 2018. Available at http://www.businessworld.in/article/Untangle-The-Privacy-Law/08-08-2018-157103/.
o Data bill: Safe from prying govt?, in Deccan Herald, August 2018. Available at https://www.deccanherald.com/national/sunday-spotlight/data-bill-safe-prying-govt-685674.html.
o The draft data protection bill is a step forward – but nowhere close to what India needs, in Scroll.in, July 2018. Available at https://scroll.in/article/888365/the-draft-data-protection-bill-is-a-step-forward-but-nowhere-close-to-what-india-needs.
o Data Protection Bill: How Can Individuals Exercise Their Rights, in News18, July 2018. Available at https://www.news18.com/news/india/opinion-data-protection-bill-how-can-individuals-exercise-their-rights-1827697.html.
o Defining ‘personal info’ broadly key to protecting it, Deccan Herald, January 2018. Available at https://www.deccanherald.com/content/655012/defining-personal-info-broadly-key.html#main-content.
o The Right to Privacy and How it Will Play Out in Our Lives, HuffPost India, August 2017. Available at https://www.huffingtonpost.in/smitha-krishna-prasad/the-right-to-privacy-and-how-it-will-play-out-in-our-lives_a_23190236/.
Contributed to comparative research on biometric identity systems in Commonwealth countries, published in infographic form in ‘Are countries with a poor democratic record more likely to mandate an Aadhaar-like ID?’, Scroll.in, September 2017. Available at https://scroll.in/article/851282/are-countries-with-a-poor-democratic-record-more-likely-to-mandate-an-aadhaar-like-id.
Smitha has authored or contributed to submissions made by the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi in various consultation processes including, consultations by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Committee of Experts on the implementation of data protection laws in India, the NITI Aayog, the National Health Authority, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, UN Special Rapporteurs, and the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
Smitha was also invited to depose before the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change on the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019