The majority of citizens in a survey participated in by over 10,000 people showed concern about the privacy of their data and said that a law was needed to regulate it. A nine-judge Supreme Court bench is currently conducting a hearing to ascertain if the right to privacy is the fundamental right of the Indian citizens. The decision could pave the way on how personal information is stored and used in India. Citizens said that they are concerned about the privacy of their data, especially in this digital age and 89 per cent of them voted in favour of a privacy law, according to a survey conducted by citizen engagement platform LocalCircles.
People showed major concern about the leaking of Aadhaar details, duplicate PAN cards being issued, mobile numbers and email addresses being sold by vendors, credit cards being hacked due to personal information being easily available in the market and the like. They identified iris/retina scan, fingerprint scan, DNA, PAN card information, Aadhaar details, passport details, date of birth, bank account details, credit ratings, salary/compensation, performance at work, voter card details, mobile phone details, residential address, family details, medical records, debit/credit card details as private information. They have demanded a law that prevents any individual, public or private organisation from accessing and sharing certain predefined data attributes of a citizen without a written authorisation from the concerned individual. Of the 9,653 participants, only 9 per cent voted against the law and 5 per cent chose not to comment.
Globally, privacy laws deal with the regulations, storage and use of personal information of individuals. India is one of the few major economies that do not have this law. Even the definition of what is private is hazy in Indian law and the constitution does not specifically guarantee the ‘right to privacy’.