Demands For Better Privacy Rights And Regulation Of Privacy Infringement In India: Article Review Example
Indian Online Privacy
India is a country that has produced some of the leading IT professionals in the world and has a major chunk of population of the world in it. In 2011, 81 million people were online. It is a relatively small percentage of the 1 billion plus population, but it reached 120 million people in 2013 and exponential growth is being witnessed in recent years (Bandyopadhyay 2011). Majority of the new users will be from the young generation and new to the online world, so it is no surprise that majority of them are lax about online privacy. According to a survey, 57% of the people there are willing to trade privacy for convenience (Srinivasan 2015).
Indian online (and also off line) privacy laws are still not good enough in protecting personal information of users as there is no specific legislation done in the country despite having the world’s second largest internet community after the EU and Brazil (Srinivasan 2015).
However in the recent years, much awareness has been created on this issue and a number of citizens have raised their voices against this lawless online experience. It is up to the government to ensure the proper legislation and implementation of online privacy protection laws in the country.
Privacy laws are the laws that deal with the use of an individual’s personal information and its regulation when use of that information could be done by private organizations or the government sector without the express permission of the respective user (Dalal 2015).
Online privacy issues come under the major classification of computer privacy issues. Internet privacy issues came to the forefront once the public got their hands on the technology in the last decade of the twentieth century.
Under the topic of internet privacy, sharing and storing of personal information is included along with provision of personal information to third parties. Internet privacy can be divided into two parts: The personally identifying information and non-personally identifying information. The non-personally identifying information includes website visit information and pattern of certain website visits. Both are separate issues but still come under online internet privacy as disclosure of both can be considered a violation of a person’s privacy (Dalal 2015).
The state of privacy laws in India does not go with the shining India image being promoted and portrayed by their recent governments. The reason for this is the drastic condition of Indian privacy laws. Neither does India have any privacy laws nor any specified or dedicated privacy laws. (Basu 2010)
This extreme negligence has been noted by the Indian Supreme Court and can be observed clearly in article 21 of the Indian constitution. The protection of civil liberties in India is also questionable, especially when it pertains to online civil liberties or better known as cyberspace civil liberties. However, the online world is much more complex than a forceful implementation of a law. There is a need to have special courts and special laws in order to catch and try the cyber privacy violators in India. Unfortunately in the implementation front, concrete steps have been lacking (Basu 2010).
According to (Basu 2010) National security has become one of the top excuses for violating online privacy or liberty of individuals in India. But then this practice is not unique to India particularly as it can easily be seen in the neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Iran and Pakistan. It is rather of the most widely used supposed reason when any country wants to trample over privacy and liberty laws especially when it comes to online privacy or liberty in the cyber world. The government and the departments need to realize that the lack of online privacy in the country would lead to personal information being leaked out resulting in mass level problems. (Basu 2010)
Recently much hue and cry has been raised and issues have come to the front in India which revolve around privacy laws specially privacy laws related to the cyberspace. These demands have been steadily increasing and as India is known as the hub of internet and IT development, these demands were followed by major following and leaders raised the issue in the Indian parliament as well (Center forn Internet and Society 2015).
As a result of these demands, certain amendments were made and laws were passed e.g. the Information Technology Act 2000 and amendments in it. This made privacy in general and online privacy specifically a little better but the issue is still not even near to a robust solution. Much more work needs to be done.
Certain criminal offences were outlined in this as charges for anybody violating these set rules when it came to privacy the cyber space in India. Specific compensation has been set for people who experience “wrongful gain” or “wrongful loss” due to these privacy attacks (Center for Internet and Society 2015).
Surveillance by the Indian government has become a major issue when it comes to privacy laws in general and internet and online privacy laws in particular. There are laws that define the extent to which the Indian government can go to in breaching private information when it comes to online privacy such laws are vague and need to be amended to change with the changing aspects of technology and information flow.
A central monitoring system has been set up by the Indian government in the name of National Security. While this may be required for national security measures, such organizations if not controlled often breach privacy laws (Paganini 2014).
According to a newspaper report apparently the Indian government has been keeping surveillance on nearly eight hundred e-mail accounts and yet these accounts have not been identified as to if they are of any known criminals or not. Hence, these e-mail accounts can be of any innocent civilian and in such cases this should be considered a dire case of breaching of online privacy and private information. There is no way by which the system can be held accountable. It is a cause of general frustration among the masses (Paganini 2014).
Online privacy is not a black and white issue, it has many grey areas. Since there are blurry lines between private and public information when it comes to information shared online, especially when that information is shared on social media. Any private sector organization or government department can track such activities with ease.
Indian courts have not as yet dealt directly with the issue of social media being in the private or public domains due to its complexity to be dealt with. Such issues need to be dealt with if any progress is to be made in the online privacy issues and laws in India as social media accounts for the majority of the privacy invasion in the world.
Bandyopadhyay, Soumava. 2011. 'Online Privacy Concerns Of Indian Consumers'. International Business & Economics Research Journal 10(2).
Basu, S. 2010. 'Policy-Making, Technology And Privacy In India'. The Indian Journal of Law and Technology (6):65-88.
Center For Internet and Society,. 2015. 'Internet Privacy In India —'. Retrieved February 19, 2015 (http://cis-india.org/telecom/knowledge-repository-on-internet-access/internet-privacy-in-india).
Dalal, Praveen. 2015. 'Privacy Laws In India And Privacy Rules And Regulations In India | Privacy Rights In India And Privacy Rights In The Information Era And Internet'. Electroniccourts.in. Retrieved February 19, 2015 (http://www.electroniccourts.in/privacylawsindia/).
Paganini, Pierluigi. 2014. 'Project NETRA – The Indian Internet Surveillance'. Security Affairs. Retrieved February 19, 2015 (http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/20991/intelligence/project-netra-indian-surveillance.html).
Perry4law.org,. 2015. 'Online Resource Centre Of Perry4law Organisation (P4LO) | The Official Website Of Perry4law Organisation (P4LO)'. Retrieved February 19, 2015 (http://perry4law.org/).
Srinivasan, Harikrishnan. 2015. 'Online Data Privacy In India - Issues & Perceptions - Digital Strategy | Marketing | Measurement | Analytics | Intelligence'. Digital Strategy | Marketing | Measurement | Analytics | Intelligence. Retrieved February 19, 2015 (http://www.tribenautix.com/internet-data-privacy-in-india/).
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