5 Feb 2012

Privacy Rights And Laws In India

Privacy rights in India have taken a centre stage in India. From Indian citizens to foreign companies, all are now insisting upon a sound privacy rights regime in India. However, for one reason or other, privacy laws in India have been ignored by Indian government.

Similarly, an exclusive and dedicated data protection law in India is also absent. Absence of proper legal frameworks for privacy and data protection has made the personal information and data of individuals and companies prone to misuse in India.

Telemarketing companies are openly violating privacy of Indians due to lack of proper regulatory regime of India. Spam communications are increasing in India and India has become the premier location to indulge in spam communications.

Privacy rights and data protection rights are essential part of civil liberties protection in cyberspace. With the growing use of information and communication technology (ICT), privacy rights have acquired a very different meaning. It would not be wrong to assume privacy and data protection rights as integral part of human rights protection in cyberspace.

We have no dedicated privacy laws in India and data protection laws in India. The privacy rights in India in the information era are unique in nature that requires a techno legal orientation. The growing use of e-surveillance in India has also necessitated enactment of data privacy laws in India, privacy rights and laws in India and data protection law in India.

At the policy level as well privacy rights and data protection rights have been ignored in India. In fact, an Indian national privacy policy is missing till now. Even legislative efforts in this regard are not adequate in India. A national privacy policy of India is urgently required.

A right to privacy bill of India 2011 has been suggested in the year 2011 yet till now we do not have any conclusive draft in this regard that can be introduced in that parliament of India. In fact, we are still waiting for a public disclosure of final and conclusive proposed draft right to privacy bill 2011 of India that can be discussed in the parliament.

The Supreme Court of India must expand privacy rights in India as that is the need of hour. Fortunately, the issue is already pending before it and there would not be much trouble in formulating a privacy framework for India.

However, the call is for the Indian parliament to take and it must enact sound and effective privacy and data protection laws for India.