Right to Privacy and Data Protection Bill
Right to privacy was first cited by Samuel D Warren and Louis Brandeis. And told that privacy is the “right to be let alone”. If you care then the history of privacy is long back to the Vedic and puranic ages. That was for data with us that we can see but in the current scenario, the data is invisible and is in the hand of information technology. The data of users is so big that the analysis company now uses the word “Big Data analysis”.
Many countries have brought up new laws and policies to protect data and prevent citizens. We will discuss the Right to privacy in the Indian context.
In India, the constitution of India provides the right to privacy under article 21. Since the beginning, there was a win-win situation that the right to privacy should be a fundamental right or a legal right. In the case of MP Sharma vs Satish, Chandra privacy was not considered as a fundamental right and dismissed the existence of the right of privacy. Everyone loves to spent private time and keeps privacy about many details. And hence In Dec 1962, Privacy again came back to the bench of six judges of S.C. in the case of Kharak Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh but again it was dismissed stating there is no such provision and is not guaranteed under the constitution. But Privacy got some limelight in Gobind v. State of Madhya Pradesh where it got little recognition under personal liberty (Article - 21 of Indian Constitution).But at that time privacy was not on the internet and minds of people hence privacy rooted the society slowly. And again, it came in front of S.C. in the case of K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India in 2017. But this time it clear won and got the status of the fundamental right. The case was brought up by H.C. Judge KS Puttaswamy concerning privacy through the Aadhar scheme. Aadhar scheme, for availing schemes, services, and benefits offered by govt it was mandatory to have Aadhar ID. Petitioner wanted privacy to be a fundamental right. And in judgment, it was given the status of fundamental right with some limitations. Limitations were added based on the union’s stand that we cannot compromise the right to life of millions of poor through measures related to their basic needs is of more importance than privacy concerns.
In continuity to this judgment decriminalization of homosexuality got paved the way, on September 6, 2018, became legalized. As a country develops it turns more to the IT sector and digitalizing. Currently, India has 687.6 million users. It means at least these users have shared data with many companies. And to protect the misuse of this data Personal data protection bill 2019 (PDP Bill 2019) was introduced by Ravi Shankar Prasad (Minister of Electronics and Information) on 11 Dec 2019. The bill was analyzed by the Joint Parliamentary Committee as a bill. The bill protects the privacy and data of individuals. The status of the bill is pending but hope it brings reform tothe Right to privacy of our online data.
From the beginning of time, we enjoyed our privacy but when we digitalized the concern of privacy rose as we spend half of our leisure time using devices like Smartphones, laptops, etc. which are connected to the internet where our data gets shared with many tech giants. Hence it is our responsibility too to the care of our privacy at least for this we shouldn’t rely on the government. Read about privacy concerns related to software and apps that you use. Do not share unnecessary but important data on platforms. Because it leads to crimes like kidnapping and rape.
As every day is advancing, this right is becoming more and more necessary. All of our lives are exposed to the media through social networking sites or spy cameras, security is to be given to all and it must act in such a way that one is concerned about ending the right to privacy of individuals. I should not think that privacy should be protected in every aspect, but it is subject to reasonable restrictions under the provisions of the Constitution of India and other relevant statutory provisions. It needs to be understood that privacy should be confined and not confined within a confined world.
MP Sharma vs Satish, Chandra- AIR 1954 SCR 1077.
Kharak Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh - AIR 1964(1) SCR 332.
Gobind v. State of Madhya Pradesh- 1975 (2) SCC 14.
K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India -2017 10 S.C.C. 1.