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Fundamental Right to Privacy — Three Years of the Puttaswamy Judgment

Posted by Pranav M B at Aug 24, 2020 07:40 AM |


Today marks three years since the Supreme Court of India recognised the fundamental right to privacy, but the ideals laid down in the Puttaswamy Judgment are far from being completely realized. Through our research, we invite you to better understand the judgment and its implications, and take stock of recent issues pertaining to privacy.  

  1. Amber Sinha dissects the Puttaswamy Judgment through an analysis of the sources, scope and structure of the right, and its possible limitations. [link]

  1. Through a visual guide to the fundamental right to privacy, Amber Sinha and Pooja Saxena trace how courts in India have viewed the right to privacy since Independence, explain how key legal questions were resolved in the Puttaswamy Judgement, and provide an account of the four dimensions of privacy — space, body, information and choice — recognized by the Supreme Court. [link]

  1. Based on publicly available submissions, press statements, and other media reports, Arindrajit Basu and Amber Sinha track the political evolution of the data protection ecosystem in India, on EPW Engage. They discuss how this has, and will continue to impact legislative and policy developments. [link

  1. For the AI Policy Exchange, Arindrajit Basu and Siddharth Sonkar examine the  Automated Facial Recognition Systems (AFRS), and define the key legal and policy questions related to privacy concerns around the adoption of AFRS by governments around the world. [link]

  1. Over the past decade, reproductive health programmes in India have been digitising extensive data about pregnant women. In partnership with Privacy International, we studied the Mother and Child Tracking system (MCTS), and Ambika Tandon presents the impact on the privacy of mothers and children in the country. [link

  1. While the right to privacy can be used to protect oneself from state surveillance, Mira Swaminathan and Shubhika Saluja write about the equally crucial problem of lateral surveillance — surveillance that happens between individuals, and within neighbourhoods, and communities — with a focus on this issue during the COVID-19 crisis. [link]

  1. Finally, take a dive into the archives of the Centre for Internet and Society to read our work, which was cited in the Puttaswamy judgment — essays by Ashna Ashesh, Vidushi Marda and Bhairav Acharya that displaced the notion that privacy is inherently a Western concept, by attempting to locate the constructs of privacy in Classical Hindu [link], and Islamic Laws [link]; and Acharya’s article in the Economic and Political Weekly, which highlighted the need for privacy jurisprudence to reflect theoretical clarity, and be sensitive to unique Indian contexts [link].