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The Embodiment of the Right to Privacy within Domestic Legislation

Posted by Tanvi Mani at Apr 29, 2014 08:00 AM |
The Right to Privacy is a pivotal construct, essential to the actualization of justice, fairness and equity within any democratic society. It is an instrument used to secure the boundaries of an individual’s personal space, in his interaction with not only the rest of society but also the State.

It is within this realm of the social transaction that there exists an unending conflict between the Right to Privacy of an individual and the overbearing hand of the State as a facilitator of public interest. This right thus acts as a safety valve providing individuals with a sacred space within which their interactions in their personal capacity have no bearing on their conduct in the public sphere. The preservation of this space is incredibly important in order to ensure a willingness of individuals to engage and cooperate with the State in its fulfillment of public welfare measures that would otherwise be deemed as intrusive. It is in this regard that the Right to Privacy, one of the last sustaining rights that an individual holds against a larger State interest, ought to be protected by the law.

There are numerous dimensions to the idea of the Right to Privacy. These include but are not limited to the privacy of person, privacy of communication, personal privacy, transactional privacy, privacy of information and the privacy of personal data.

The Supreme Court of India has come to the rescue of individuals, time and again by construing "Right to Privacy" as an extension of the Fundamental Right to “Protection of Life and Personal liberty” under Article 21 of the Constitution. This has been reflected in the adjudicatory jurisprudence of the Constitutional courts in the country. However, there exists no Constitutional remedy to redress the breach of privacy by a nongovernmental actor, except under tortuous liability. The power and authority of public and private institutions to use an individual’s personal data for larger interests of national security or effectuation of socio-economic policies is still under extensive scrutiny. It is in this regard that we have compiled a number of sectoral legislations, regulating domains ranging from Finance and Telecom to Healthcare, Freedom of Expression, Consumer rights and Procedural codes. The highlighted provisions under each Act pertain to the mechanisms embodied within the legislation for the regulation of privacy within their respective sectors. Through this we aim to determine the threshold for permissible collection of confidential data and regulatory surveillance, provided a sufficient need for the same has been established. The determination of such a threshold is imperative to formulating a consistent and effective regime of privacy protection in India.


Click to download the below resources:

Legislations
Master Circulars
Finance and Privacy
Code of Civil Procedure and Code of Criminal Procedure
Freedom of Expression
Identity and Privacy
National Security and Privacy
Consumer Protection
Transparency and Privacy
Healthcare
Telecom
Case Laws
Code of Civil Procedure and Code of Criminal Procedure
Freedom of Expression
Identity and Privacy
National Security and Privacy
Consumer Protection
Transparency and Privacy
Healthcare
Telecom

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