SC issues notice to Govt, TRAI, Facebook, WhatsApp over data privacy

India does not have a clear law on data privacy, say experts

GN Bureau | January 16, 2017


#Facebook   #TRAI   #government   #Delhi high court   #Supreme court   #WhatsApp  

The supreme court on Monday has issued notice to the government, telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI), WhatsApp and Facebook regarding data privacy.

The issue was first taken up by the Delhi high court last year, based on a PIL filed by two law students, Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi. The petitioners have challenged WhatsApp privacy policy 2016 for sharing users’ information with Facebook. The petitioner claimed that changing policy without informing users is fundamentally violating their right guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution of India.

The high court, on September 23, had delivered its judgment on the case by directing WhatsApp, a USA-based company, to entirely delete details and data of users who have deactivated their account before September 25. The judgment also directed the internet-based messaging platform to delete data, information and details up to September 25 of even those users who continue to be part of the platform.

This means that users who continue to be on WhatsApp, their data and details generated after September 25 will be with WhatsApp, owned by Facebook. The information is getting transferred to the company’s server which is located in USA.

“There is no actual way of finding out whether WhatsApp has followed the judgment or not. Thereafter the judgment, in Germany, UK and all across Europe, Facebook has been ordered not to collect data and share it. So we then filed another petition with the supreme court, asking if other countries are taking measures on data privacy, then why not us,” said one of the advocates associated with the case.

The supreme court has sought response by February 6.

WhatsApp currently has over one billion monthly active users globally. In India, over 70 million people use the messaging service. In 2014, social media website Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. Both the companies are USA-based. After their merger, WhatsApp in its new privacy policy announced that it will share information of its users with Facebook.

So, does India have any clear laws governing data protection or privacy?

India has Information Technology Act, 2000 that provides legal recognition to data and information carried by the means of electronic platform. However, the Act is not effective when it comes to data privacy.

“India does not have a dedicated law on privacy. The Information Technology Act, 2000 hardly has effective provisions to protect any data and personal privacy in the digital ecosystem. The Indian Government needs to come up with strong privacy law which can protect both personal privacy and data privacy in an effective manner,” writes Pavan Duggal, supreme court advocate and an expert on cyber law, at Firstpost.

Comments

 

Other News

Vande Bharat halts midway near Tundla

In a major embarrassment to the railways, the much touted Vande Bharat Express developed a technical snag at Chamraula, 15 kms from Tundla junction.   Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the train on Friday from New Delhi station.    The train was

PM flags off India’s first semi high-speed train

Indian Railways entered a new era as prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the country’s first semi high-speed train, Vande Bharat Express, from the New Delhi railway station. The new train is also seen as a success story of the NDA government’s ‘Make in India’

Estonia eyes on more e-Residents from India to open startups

Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia talks to Vishwas Dass on key issues like the importance of e-Residency programme of the Government of Estonia and why Estonia is becoming a preferred investment destination for Indian startups and budding entrepreneurs. The Ambassador says Estonia offer

Happily working away!

There’s no dearth of self-help books. They come in a multitude of single-topic and hybrid varieties: habit change, management, habit change in management, spirituality, spirituality in management...you get the drift. Happiness at Work: Mindfulness, Analysis, and Well-Being, by R Anand, adds to the li

Budget and Modi’s ‘neo middle class’ strategy for elections

Those who have gained the most from the latest budget are the ones who are going to have the most crucial impact on the Lok Sabha election results. Who are they? They are hiding in plain sight. They have come to work in metros and cities, probably in recent years. They crowd inter-state bus terminals to ta

Gandhi’s essence

For a novice reader, MK Gandhi presents a formidable challenge. The starting point is usually the autobiography, with its well-known anecdotes which most of us

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter