This article is written by VIJAYSHREE of III year pursuing course of B.A.LLB from University of Allahabad during her internship at LeDroit India.
- Right to privacy
- Data protection
- Right to erasure
- Fundamental right
- Protection of life and liberty
As humans have the basic right of protection of life and liberty that includes the right to have privacy and thus there is an arising need of the hour to include the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ This article discusses about ‘Right to be Forgotten’ which focuses on protecting data protection of individual from various public forums.
Indian Constitution talks about protection of life and personal liberty, and the Indian Judiciary has widened the scope of this article from time to time. Within the ambit of this article it is said that humans have the right to live a life with dignity and that human are believed to be an autonomous beings with the need to have control and confidentiality on certain matters in their life.
In today’s time the world revolve around data and its transaction through various platforms, however it often happens that our some confidential data remains on internet or in public forums that can be used in a negative way and thus there is the need for data protection by implementing laws and regulations for the same. Many countries have already come forward to look into this matter of data protection and privacy, European Union is the first one to introduce GDPR and this became the limelight of the world.
Origin and Background
The origin of this Right can be traced back to the French jurisprudence on the ‘Right to oblivion’ or Droit a loubli in 2010. The right of oblivion helped convicted criminials by removing their publications of crime and helps them starting a new life.
SCENARIO OF INDIA
In the case of Justice K. Puttaswomy v. Union of India for the first time the need of right to privacy was recognized by Supreme Court saying that ‘Right to Privacy’ is also a fundamental right. In this case, standing and parliamentary Committees stated in their report that there is an urgent need for a legislation that focuses on ‘data protection and privacy’.
Later on May,2018 a bill was introduced and drafted by a committee which was headed by Justice B.N Srikrishna which aims to protect personal data also referred to as ‘Right to be Forgotten’. On December 11, 2019 The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the leadership of Ravi Shankar Prasad proposed The Personal Data Protection Bill to the Lok Sabha. However this bill is yet to be passed as a parliamentary joint committee has suggested 81 amendments in the bill of 99 sections.
Right to be forgotten
The right to be forgotten is also called as ‘right to erasure’ and it gives the right to the individuals to have their private and confidential information removed from the internet or any other public platform that they consider harmful to live a life with dignity under special circumstances.
In the Case of Jorawar Singh Mundy v. Union of India issue of manipulation of information of individual can be seen and thus the Hon’ble Court in this judgment directed the respective respondents to remove the judgment till the next order.
Thus it evident that in the absence of any legislation that regulates data protection and restricts the fundamental right to delete defamatory and useless private data from the online space has attracted the attention to identify ‘Right to be Forgotten’ as a fundamental right in India.
In the case of Zulfiqar Ahman Khan v. M/S Quilton Business Media Ltd. And Others Delhi high court observed that Right to be Forgotten and the right to be left alone are an integral part of individual existence.
In the case of State of Punjab v. Gurmeet Singh and Ors. Supreme Court held that anonymity can help protect victims of sexual offence from social defamation.
In the case of Kharak Singh v. State of UP held that Right to Life includes personal liberty and thus, Right to privacy culled from Article 21 of the Indian constitution.
Challenges due to implementation of right to be forgotten
- It is believed that once the right to be forgotten will be implemented many journalists may face issue in presenting and providing the news to general public and thus would create a state of disarray in the press and media industry. Also the journalists will suffer impediment in imparting information and ideas through media.
- According to Rosen this exclusive right to be forgotten poses the biggest threat to freedom of speech in the coming decade.
- Freedom of expression is said to be a basic human right and if there would be law for the removal of online content from the internet it would impact on people’s right of freedom of expression and it will somehow become a problem for them to express their views on various media platforms. Thus they will not free to express their opinions or beliefs on any political matter.
Benefits from Implementation
- An individual should have a Right to control their personal information and identity in the digital age. It is the responsibility of governments and lawmakers to protect the Right to data protection and privacy .Moreover, individuals should have ownership of their personal information. The ‘Right to be forgotten’ thus empowers people to regain control over their digital lives.
- Most of the personal information in the public domain is there unlawfully, such as intimate photos distributed on the Internet without consent. There is no justification for other people to have access to such information and thus if any law would be implemented to regulate these kinds of behavior then the culprit could be punished for the same.
- It is extremely serious that the individuals is compelled to live under mental depression owing to the article published under his name which are having no relevancy in the present times thus there is the need for the right to be forgotten.
From the above discussion we can conclude that in India there is no such law that provides the Right to be forgotten, however there are many proposals for the implementation of the same.
Now if we talk about whether this right to be forgotten should be included or not we can see that there are pros and cons as if it’s implemented then it would result into keeping away the people from the real news and would cause disarray in journalism.
However if we look into present scenario of the country we can see that our right to privacy is getting violated and somewhere it is causing psychological and emotional suffering to individual which is hampering their present life