Privacy Issues in the Contemporary World

Privacy enables free-thinking in people since they have the liberty to act as they please without unreasonable and unfair influence or control by others. This freedom of people prevents society from being subjected to totalitarian rule or being subjected to complete control of a dictator or a ruling party.

Information or data privacy is a branch of data security which deals with proper handling of information or data with the appropriate consent, a notice, and following the necessary regulatory obligations of an organization. Specifically, practical data privacy often deals with how the data is shared with third parties. The contemporary world mainly faces Internet privacy issues such as tracking, hacking, illegal trading and phishing. Tech giants like Google which is the most widely used search engine collects a lot of information from its users. Millions of people worldwide become victims of identity theft which leads to financial loss and even legal problems.

Encryption of data keeps the data private and protected. Since the data you create moves from one device to another, Google services and data centers keep your data protected by security technology like Https and Transport Layer Security. Mails are encrypted and encryption of identity cookies is set into default.

Importance of data privacy.

In the virtual world, data privacy has always been important. A company possesses personal information of millions of its customers which needs to be confidential and private so that customers’ identities remain safe and protected. As a result the company’s reputation also remains untarnished. For securing devices and networks you need to encrypt your data, insert anti-malware and anti-spyware, automate your software updates, use firewall protection for your computer and need to disable your file settings and media sharing if you don’t need it. You need to delete old files from your cloud backups and need to take care of your privacy settings immediately upon setup.

Privacy breaches run the risk of diluting trust or losing data security; it is also a disrespect to the law and a violation of ethical principles. Information or data privacy is about protecting data that can be accessed, used, and collected by an organization and has legal rights over it.

The importance of privacy is that it helps individuals maintain their autonomy and individuality. American privacy allows many cultures and subcultures to define for themselves how personal information moves in the economy and society. 

Data privacy is important because of its functional benefits. It protects your personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number. It also includes personal data such as your shopping habits, driving record, medical diagnosis, work history, credit score and much more. Thus the right to privacy refers to having control over this personal information. All companies have sensitive data of their clients such as personnel files, customer data, product information, financial transactions which is confidential. Therefore it becomes necessary to safeguard the reputation of your business, establishing your company as a brand in which people can trust their data.

Google uses “military-grade” encryption to keep all your files private. Even the company cannot see your data. It is only the user or the person who holds the encryption key (password) can see what is saved.

Benefits of Privacy 

If there is a privacy issue then any third party can access your information. Other issues include whether an individual has any ownership rights to data about them, and the right to view, verify, and challenge that information. Person information of various types is often associated with privacy concerns. This comes to us based on the Constitutional rights, Supreme Court rulings, and state Constitutions court rulings. However, the right to privacy, like all other rights can be balanced against government interests. Privacy can be used by Government as a tool to exercise control over the people and can also be used by the wrong hands. Privacy is all about respecting individuals. If a person has a reasonable desire to keep something private, it would be disrespectful to ignore that person’s wishes without a compelling reason to do so.

The four types of privacy invasion can lead to a civil lawsuit which includes (1) solitude intrusion, (2) name or likeness appropriation, (3) disclosure of public and private facts, and (4) false claim.

In three primary ways, the Privacy Act provides protections to individuals. It provides individuals with the right to request their records, subject to the Privacy Act exemptions and the right to request a change to their records which are not accurate, relevant, timely or complete.

Privacy act in India

The Constitution of India does not fundamentally grant the right to privacy. India presently does not have any legislation governing data protection or privacy. The relevant laws in India dealing with data protection are the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the (Indian) Contract Act, 1872. 

By these laws, the right to privacy protects as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 guaranteed as freedom by Part III of the Constitution. Over the past 60 years, India has developed the right to privacy through a series of decisions over the past 60 years. The Indian Supreme Court in the year 2017 ruled that the Indian constitution guarantees a right to privacy. 

The consumer has the right to influence or grant permission to process his data. Data protection and privacy act with common standards across the country protect the fundamental rights of privacy of every Indian.

Privacy law refers to laws that deals with the regulation, storing, and using personally identifiable information of individuals, which can be collected by governments, public or private organizations, or other individuals. Data Protection Laws in India refers to the set of privacy laws, policies, and procedures that aim to minimize intrusion into one’s privacy that is caused by the collection, storage, and dissemination of personal data. Technical problems, human errors, inadequate policies, and training can also cause privacy breaches. 

Thus, privacy laws protect the fundamental rights of citizens of a country with respect to freedom and liberty of speech, thought, and expression. Privacy laws ensure the security of people and protect them from the manipulation of civil rights by the state.

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Advocate Aditya Pratap
About Advocate Aditya Pratap 60 Articles
Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practising in Mumbai. He argues cases in the Bombay High Court, Sessions and Magistrate Courts, along with appearances before RERA, NCLT and the Family Court. For further information one may visit his website adityapratap.in or view his YouTube Channel to see his interviews. Questions can be emailed to him at aditya@adityapratap.com.