Harshil Agrawal's cartoonised headshot

Mozilla Policy Engagement & Privacy in India 

Mozilla’s India Policy Head, Amba Kak and the International Policy Head, Jochai Ben-Avie came to Ahmedabad to meet and discuss the current state of Tech Policy in India and Internet Health with the Mozilla Gujarat Community.

This meetup was arranged on 13th of July, 2019 at the amazing DevX office.

I with other volunteers from Vadodara, traveled to Ahmedabad to attend the meetup. We caught an early train to Ahmedabad, to make sure we could be on time. The train journey in itself was full of discussion on data privacy, security and our future goals as a community.

We headed to a nearby mall to have our lunch and kill some time. From there, with our lead Pranshu Khanna we headed to the venue. At the venue, we met other Mozilla Gujarat Volunteers.

The meetup started right on time. Amba and Jochai gave a great introduction about themselves and told us about the amazing work they do. Following them, everybody introduced themselves and shared their Mozilla contributions. Pranshu Khanna sharing his ideasPranshu Khanna sharing his ideas After the introductions, we discussed concerns related to the Data Protection Law of India, GDPR, net neutrality. We then had an activity 1–2–4, where each one of us was asked to write down ideas that could help in spreading awareness about data privacy and security among the citizens. These ideas we had to discuss with a partner and select top 3 among them. The top 3 ideas, we selected, we further discussed with another group and selected the best of 3. From brainstorming individually we started to discuss our ideas in groups and outcome was truly amazing.

Our team named PrivateFoxes, came up with some ideas that we felt were easy, fun, doable, and would really help us spread the awareness.

The top 3 ideas we had were

  1. Add it in school Curriculum — School is the first step we take that opens the door to the outside world. School is the place where we learn to differentiate about the good and the bad. We suggested to have a small interactive course that would teach the students about their privacy and teach them about data protection.
  2. College Campaigns — We use social media platforms to reach out to people, to spread awareness. But we came up with the idea of doing offline campaigns in colleges. This would not only help us spread awareness among the youth but also listen to them, understand their concerns and help them live a better, safe and healthy online lives.
  3. Campus Clubs —A lot of colleges have different student focused communities that organize meetups at least once a month. We thought it would be amazing if these communities would talk about data and privacy at the end of their meetups, for at least 5 to 10 mins. This would start a discussion around privacy and will help in spreading awareness.

We discussed our ideas with others and listened to their amazing ideas as well. Amba, being the magician with the whiteboard, jotted down the points in a great fashion on the whiteboard, making it easy to follow. Amba’s magic on the whiteboard After sharing ideas, we were asked to select few, to which we would like to contribute. People selected the ideas of their interest and shared how they would contribute to it. It was great to see the community coming together, shareing ideas and discuss various ways to promote data protection and privacy.

After this insightful activity we had an AMA session with both Amba and Jochai. We asked them all the questions we had pertaining to privacy, security, the Data Protection Law, community and what not.

The venue, DevX was amazing. It’s amazing atmosphere added an extra charm to our meetup. We were so amazed by the space, that all of decided to work there in the future if at all we’d have a startup! I am looking forward to attend more community events at DevX.

The meetup didn’t just end there. We carried it forward to cafe Mocha, where with some nice refreshments, we socialized with each other, shared some stories and had some good time.

The day ended with a small celebration. We celebrated Pratik Parmar’s birthday with a cake. Overall it was an amazing meetup, where we had discussions on data protection, privacy and security, and a lot of fun!

Last Updated: Sat Dec 19 2020