Right to Privacy

People are very reluctant to talk about their private lives, but then you go to the internet and they’re much more open” – Paulo Coelho

The internet is possibly the greatest invention mankind has seen in almost five decades. It has made our vast and diverse planet into a ‘global village.’ It has made our lives so much easier, like making projects is so much easier if you have access to the internet (who doesn’t nowadays?) than having to go and sit in a library, read a ton of books and spend a huge amount of time comprehending what you have read. You even get ready made presentations on various topics on the internet. Of course the internet, does not exist without its faults.

A nine judge bench of the Supreme Court is currently examining whether ‘Right to Privacy’ can be upgraded to the status of a fundamental right. This comes after a PIL (Public interest litigation) was filed regarding intrusion of privacy of the citizens who have had various types of data like addresses, photos, biometrics were uploaded as part of the Aadhar Card document. The government in its written submission to the Supreme Court said that,”the petition challenging the validity of the Aadhar scheme on the ground that it violated right to privacy could not be entertained as right to privacy is recognised as a general right under Article 21.”

This sparked off a debate on protection of privacy over various other internet based services as well; such as WhatsApp and Facebook. Currently there is no body which regulates how the data is used by these companies. Everything that we do on the internet leaves a digital footprint, these footprints can be tracked by various organisations like your ISP (Internet Service Provider), the owner of the website or even at times, the government. We can be easily influenced if we aren’t aware and unfortunately, majority of the population isn’t aware of the concept of Right to Privacy let alone the debate over it; even though it has been in the spotlight for a few days now.

The Government must ensure that strong laws are introduced for the protection of our privacy online, they should ensure that they also implement (We make great laws, but we don’t ever see them in action) those laws properly and effectively. The internet is an integral part of our lives, we simply cannot live without it and regressing to a lifestyle which does not include using the internet is simply out of the question. Let us all come together and demand for better protection of our privacy online as our privacy is an integral part of leading a life with dignity and we simply cannot allow it to be overlooked and disrespected.

Priyamvad Rai

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