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Published : July 23, 2011 | Author : shivangi_raman
Category : Miscellaneous | Total Views : 4937 | Unrated

Shivangi Raman

Urgent Need of Privacy Laws In India - Time To Think Over

“According to the Privacy Rights Center, up to 10 million Americans are victims of ID theft each year. They have a right to be notified when their most sensitive health data is stolen.”  -Luis Gutierrez

The notification made ‘after’ the most sensitive data is stolen does not hold much value but for the purpose of adding up to one more offence that would make government answerable for such activity. We as citizens of India need to understand that in a country like America where there are provisions of penalizing the people for identity theft or even the theft and/or usage of one’s own private records, such things happen. The citizens are liable to be punished in case if they perform any such activity in USA. This is unlike India, where there are no such laws that would help to protect any such unlawful activities like the identity theft of a person and the theft of a person’s personal records, thereby also misusing it in future.

It has been a demand since many years by the intellectuals of India that this country should have a law which governs the privacy issues of the individuals of the nation. The right to privacy of one’s own life is the necessary right that should not only be conferred to every individual by birth, but should also be protected by the government of the nation. Every individual should be explicitly told about the reasons for which his personal data is collected and also about the areas in which it would be used. His permission should be taken prior to use his data in any area, other than the ones, in which it has been promised to be used.

In case of data privacy of individuals, the European Union protects the data of their citizens and the citizens have full right to sue the person(s) or organization(s) that may have taken the data but did not use them in the manner promised. This act is called as the Data Protection Act. The principles of the Data Protection Act clearly prohibit the organizations to pass-on the data of the individuals not just to anyone within the country but also overseas without coherently notifying the purpose of usage, thereby also taking permission from the concerned person to share the data with any organization overseas.

USA also has the “Safe Harbor Act” that speaks about saving the right of privacy of any individual and save his data to be passed on overseas without his permission. Such legislative measures help the people to forget or at least minimize their worries about their private data being leaked out. Also, these help the government to minimize the threats that the people of their country may face and protect them from misuse even in other nations which may or may not be having any such law. Such nations that have privacy laws send the data of their citizens to only those nations that have privacy laws into function in them.

In India, the privacy laws are not explicitly present in India. The right to privacy is an implicit right mentioned in the Constitution of India article 21 [1] [2]. For enforcing this right and paving a way for protecting it for the citizens of the India nation, stringent laws must be formulated that would be helpful to save the privacy rights of the people. In today’s scenario when many Indians are being fooled by private organizations that take up their data and their phone numbers and then make unnecessary and unwanted calls to people, the Indians would be in a condition to ask for restricting them in case if they do not wish to entertain such calls. United Kingdom provides for telecommunication directives that state that even the telephone lines allotted in the name of an individual should not be used by another without seeking permission. If such things come into force in India and people are made aware of their rights, we can avoid many conditions where people are befooled and their property or money is taken over by other people or organizations.
[1] http://india.gov.in/govt/documents/english/coi_part_full.pdf
[2] https://www.privacyinternational.org/survey/phr2003/countries/india.htm

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: shivangi_raman@legalserviceindia.com

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