Right to Privacy in India Needs to Ensure Data Security & Privacy

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In this era of digitalization where every task can be undertaken & completed through online transaction whether it be a shopping or payment of bills and/or many more. To complete these online transactions, some details and personal data is required to be fed in the system. But the question is, in-spite of the written/flashed-on undertaking by the site owner, whether privacy of the information entered is secured or there is any guarantee of data security which one fed to complete these transactions. The answer is perhaps no.

Following are the examples of breach of Right to Privacy in India:

  • Sometimes when one place an order for online shopping of a product through a specific app using one’s phone or personal system and enter personal details like address for delivery etc., it might retain the address entered even without the explicit consent of user, and many times when user place the order of another product it retains the address automatically and delivers the product at the same which may put the user in trouble. But the user should be given an option once again to verify the address for delivery of the particular product.Many times these apps, or even the different apps also, used to send messages of price cutand discount coupons to the same address without the consent.
  • Similarly, mobile apps would track the location data and address of one’s product delivery history so that it’s possible to detect the time and locations on what you frequently used to place large orders. This is really sad that the data tracked via phone could be spread with an e-commerce website and suddenly you find that the price of the same product became higher for you while your friend is getting the same product on cheap rates as compared to what you are getting.
  • Many a times when one searches for particular product repeatedly, the concerned e-commerce websites reads IP address of the user and sends similar or equivalent advertisement from affiliates.
  • Some political parties in India have used the data purchased from Facebook or other social media sites to woo certain section of society for their own benefit.
  • Similarly, the case is pending in Supreme Court against the use of Aadhaar data and its security relates to Right to Privacy in India.
  • Likewise certain unscrupulous people sell stolen telecommunication data to Call Centers without permission.
  • Personal Data of customers from websites of many medical consultancy and Equity Shares and Debentures reached to brokers of Insurance and Share companies without consent of the customers.

What will be the consequences if the information given for one purpose would be shared with another apps without your explicit permission? Like if one orders fast food very frequently and the app via which one places order, shares the same with one’s insurance company and make the company know this fact that you are in the habit of taking too much fast food which would increase the chances of diseases, as a result of which it might increase premium amount of your health insurance. Despite the fact that you have been ordered fast food for your friends or office staff or for else purpose.

What are the remedy to protect breach of Right to Privacy in India?

Consent of the user must be expressly, freely and unambiguously obtained before using his data.  But consent cannot be a defence for breach of data security and privacy rights as waving one’s privacy right is not. Because Right to Privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India under Article 19. The violation of Right to privacy is illegal and cannot be waived by the individual itself.

Secondly privacy laws of India should be made stricter and there is also needs to set up clear standards to define to what extent consent to share privacy details is legitimate or for protection of legitimate business interest.

CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has also assured Government of India to protect data on Facebook from being leaked and being misused.

Government of India has also taken stand before the Supreme Court of India to take utmost care in protecting the Aadhaar data from being leaked.

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