Data protection integral to right to life: Centre to SC

Data protection integral to right to life: Centre to SC

The Centre today told the Supreme Court that data of users was “integral” to the Right of Life and Personal Liberty guaranteed under the Constitution and it would come out with regulations to protect it.

The Centre said there is a need for intervention by the State in the matter as data is connected to the personality of a user.

The submission was made before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra which was examining the contentious issue of 2016 privacy policy of WhatsApp.

The bench also comprising Justices AK Sikri, Amitava Roy, AM Khanwilkar and MM Shantanagoudar observed that it will have to draw a line on where data can be used.
The apex court said, arbitrary conditions cannot be imposed on the users as choice of the users cannot be curtailed.

The bench further also said that facility providers cannot impose conditions which violate rights of citizens. The court observed that though the Centre has said it will come out with a regulatory regime, the issue is how to control it till the time the regulatory measures are put in place.

WhatsApp counsel told the court that the mobile application is not at all against a regulatory regime and no user data was shared on the instant messaging platform.

The court, after hearing the submissions, fixed the matter for further hearing on September 6 when a nine-judge bench is likely to pronounce its verdict on right to privacy in Aadhaar case.

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