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Influence Of Freedom Of Speech On Media, Right To Privacy And Data Privacy: The Inability To Bar The Public From Intervening Into One's Life

India is a vast country which is known for its democracy. Under the Constitution of India, Freedom of Speech has been guaranteed to the citizens of India. The freedom of speech in today's life has been taken as an advantage by all. Media being the fourth estate and one of the integral parts of our democracy is being infringed by the restrictions put by the provisions of Freedom of Speech and Expression. The role of the media has recently grown to hazardous dimensions, to the point where it is invading people's privacy.

The right to privacy and data privacy is a must for all as guaranteed by the Constitution of India. The attainment of the right to privacy and data privacy comes with the confinement of Freedom of Speech and Expression. A violation of one may be both the cause and the outcome of another violation. The article focuses on the serious implications of monitoring civil liberties and certain measures to be taken by the Government as well as online platforms that are used by the public.

Freedom Of Speech And Expression:

Freedom of speech and expression is of the opinion that every person has the substantive right, without interference of censorship and without fear of retaliation, such as threats and persecution, to freely express themselves, through every media, in accordance with Article 19(1)(a) and Article 21 of the Indian constitution.

Article 19 (1) (a)[1] of the Constitution of India also confers on the citizens of India the proper freedom of speech and expression. Freedom of speech and expression means the right to specific one's opinions freely by word of mouth, writing, printing, pictures, or the opposite mode. It also includes the correct to propagate or publish people's views.

Article 19(1)(a) [2] of the Constitution of India declares that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression which is not an absolute right and is subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law in relation to contempt of Court, defamation, or incitement to offense.[3] Freedom of media flows from Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The main objective of our founding fathers to advance such freedom to media was to protect the purveying of information.

Reasonable Restrictions:
India being among the largest democracies also comes with some limitations under Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India. Although India has the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, it comes with reasonable restrictions imposed by law under Article 19(2)[4] of the Constitution of India. In 1951 and 1963, the First and Sixteenth Amendments of the Constitution were repealed respectively. Further Clause 2 was modified to permit the government to impose certain restrictions on Freedom of Speech and Expression.

There are certain factors on which Indian Constitution imposes limits. Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution provides the state the authority to impose reasonable restrictions on the following grounds:
  1. Security of the State
    Certain reasonable limitations on freedom of speech and expression may be imposed in the interests of state security under Article 19(2). Since it is of great importance, and the government has the authority to impose limitations on actions that jeopardize the state's security. As a result, freedom of speech and expression in relation to a person, for example, if he supports or advocates the commission of a crime, are concerns that might jeopardize the State's security. This person may be subjected to restrictions.

    PUCL filed a PIL under Article 32[5] of the Indian Constitution concerning phone tapping in P.U.C.L v. Union of India[6]. In this case, the constitutionality of Section 5(2) of the Telegraph Act was questioned. Section 5(2)[7] sets out the basic conditions which must be satisfied for the article to be applied in the interest of public security. If either of these two requirements is not met, the government has no authority to exercise its power under the stated section. Telephone tapping is a breach of Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution until and unless it falls under the constraints outlined in Article 19(2).

    The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) was first enacted in 1967, during the tenure of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The 1967 version of the UAPA empowered the central government to deal with acts aimed at undermining the sovereignty and integrity of India. updated for ease of use since its inception. It serves the main purpose of the Act. The amendments authorized the parliament to impose restrictions on fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, the right to assemble without arms, and the formation of coalitions. These limits were to be enforced solely to protect India's sovereignty, integrity, and security.

    The most recent amendment expanded the definition of "terrorist" to include persons under Sections 35 and 36 of the Act. It tolerates no disagreement. It criminalizes simply ideas and political protests that cause distress within the country. Thus, it is an assault on people's freedom to express themselves, as well as the mutual right of organizations and unions to disseminate their ideas, as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. Recently, two petitions were also filed to challenge the constitutionality of Sections 35 and 36 of UAPA as amended in 2019.
  2. Integrity and Sovereignty of India
    The Constitution (16th Amendment) Act of 1963 adds this ground to Article 19 (2) because it is India's primary obligation to defend its sovereignty and integrity. This limits the freedom of speech and expression and prevents anybody from challenging India's sovereignty. It forbids anybody from expressing anything that would jeopardize India's sovereignty and integrity.

    In Kedarnath Singh v State of Bihar[8], the Supreme Court ruled that a speech constituting sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code will disturb and jeopardize the authority of the government, so affecting the country's sovereignty. It is consequently the government's responsibility to ensure that they are restrained in order to avoid chaos.

    When such activities of overthrowing the government are carried out, the security of the state may be jeopardized. As a result, in the interest of state security, such scenarios must be limited. Words, signs, statements, and other forms of instigation of violence should be prohibited. Though Sedition is not accounted directly within the ambit of reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2), however Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19(1) and Sedition under 124A of the Indian Penal Code cannot work simultaneously. Thus, Sedition reasonably restricts Free Speech.
  3. Friendly Relations with Foreign States
    A state may restrict freedom of speech and expression if it jeopardizes cordial ties with other states. It was introduced to India's constitution by the (1st Amendment) Act in 1951. It should be emphasized that no other constitution in the world contains a clause like this.
  4. Public Order
    The First Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1951 along with other restrictions also added the ground of Public Order which arose from a Supreme Court case. The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Romesh Thapar v. State of Madras[9] that public order is distinct from state security and law and order. Public order is an expression of public peace, safety, and harmony. So, in this instance, the Supreme Court made a ruling, and the phrase "public order" was added to Article 19 (2) to put some constraints on freedom of speech and expression.

    The amendment guaranteed that the reasonable restriction shall be safeguarded to such an extent that the laws that prohibit not just the speech which directly harms public order, but also speech that might have an influence on the same. Therefore, the government may put limits on the purpose of maintaining public order.
  5. Decency and Morality
    Decency and Morality have been defined under Section 292 to Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code. These sections put limits to the speech by punitive sanctions, distribution or sale of obscene books, etc. in public and maintain a standard decorum within the state. Victorian morality has always impeded Indian society's growth in developing a more mature sense of morality; yet, the law has frequently done the task of pushing society up to greater levels of advancement. The famous Navtej Sigh Johar v Union of India[10] verdict decriminalized gay partnerships, which was a great step forward for Indian culture and morals.

    The Supreme Court ruled in KA Abbas v Union of India[11] that "censorship is a restrictive tool used for the betterment of the society. Any type of art conveys a message to the public, and art and literature have a huge impact on people. It is the state's responsibility to guarantee that those words, signs, or forms of expression that, if exposed to people susceptible to such effects, would corrupt such minds, be censored."

    Under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, "anyone may be held liable and imprisoned for up to three years for such an offense if they uploaded or sent 'grossly offensive', inconvenient, harmful, 'menacing' information, or insulting in nature using a computer resource or communication device". Prior to 2015, the legislation was divided into two categories, i.e., online and offline expression. In the landmark judgment of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India[12], which was on the issue of digital speech and intermediary liability in India, by a two-judge bench of the Apex Court in 2015, was struck down for infringing the fundamental right to free speech and expression and was held unconstitutional.

    In this case, the Supreme Court exempted content-hosting platforms for example, search engines and social media sites, from the obligation to continuously monitor to prevent illegal content, thereby strengthening the existing Safe-harbor protection or the legal protection afforded to Internet companies for content posted by their users. According to the Court, "Only authorized government bodies and the judiciary can lawfully require Internet companies to remove material. With content hosting platforms being the guardians of digital expression, this was a historic moment in India's online free speech legislation. The right to free expression refers to the ability to express oneself without interference and is not affected by exceptions or constraints."
  6. Contempt of court
    In a democratic country, the judiciary plays a critical role in the administration of justice and the implementation of laws. The supremacy of the judiciary is essential for the proper operation of laws, and other aspects that undermine the authority of the Courts are dealt with a legal consequence for contempt of court.

    The Supreme Court ruled in Indirect Tax Practitioners Association v R K Jain[13] that "truth based on facts should be recognized as a valid defense against contempt proceedings. The Contempt of Courts Act makes a distinction between civil and criminal contempt under Section 2[14]. Civil contempt is the wilful disobedience of a court order, whereas criminal contempt is the publishing of anything or the commission of any act that scandalizes or tends to scandalize or degrade the authority of any court."
  7. Defamation
    Article 19(2) prohibits a person from making a defamatory comment that harms the reputation of some other person. Since a person is recognized by his or her reputation in society, the constitution limits freedom of expression. Defamation is a crime under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code.

    Under Section 501 of the Indian Penal Code, "Whoever prints or engraves any matter knowing or having good reason to believe that such matter is defamatory of any person, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine or both."

    Mr. Khushwant Singh, the appellant in Khushwant Singh and Anr. vs. Maneka Gandhi[15], was a well-known novelist. He was keen to have his autobiography published, and it was subsequently suggested that it be included in a book named "Truth, Love, and a Little Malice." This autobiography had a chapter titled "Gandhis and Anands."

    The respondent attempted to halt the publishing of a few portions of his autobiography, and she, as a public person, claims to have brought the complaint because the content in his autobiography was extraneous, and the phrases and sentences were insulting. The respondent perceived harm to her family's self-esteem and social standing. The court ruled that the freedom of the press to join in discussions involving any public person or situation was broadened.
  8. Incitement to offense
    It was also included by the 1st Amendment of The Constitution Act, 1951. The above discussions demonstrate that the grounds mentioned in Article 19 (2) are concerned with India's national security and the interests of society. National security is concerned with issues such as Indian sovereignty, state security, public order, and good relations with foreign powers. While factors linked to it in the interest of society include decency and morality, contempt of court, defamation, and incitement to a crime.

Media And Freedom Of Speech:

What Is Media and Media Laws?
The media can be defined as "the communication channels via which we spread information such as news, music, entertainment, education, promotional messages, and other data. Newspapers and magazines, both printed and digital television, radio, billboards, telephone, the internet, fax, and billboards are all included".

Media law, also known as entertainment law or communications law, refers to the legal framework that governs the media industry. It encompasses the regulations, rules, and statutes that guide media organizations, content creators, and consumers in their activities. Media laws vary across countries and jurisdictions, as they are influenced by cultural, social, and political factors. They aim to strike a balance between protecting individual rights and freedoms, promoting responsible journalism, ensuring fair competition, and upholding the public interest. These laws provide guidelines and safeguards to maintain ethical standards, regulate content distribution, protect intellectual property rights, and address legal disputes arising from media activities.

The need for media regulation is for it to work efficiently and flawlessly. For e.g., the press needs to supervise the credibility of the information that is being issued to the public. The information that is being given to the audience by any press company on T.V. or newspaper should be factual, authentic, and based on reality. It should be not based on the elucidation of one's personal opinion. Furthermore, media regulation is required to maintain cultural diversity in media content along with offering a free place for different aspects and ideas to be expressed without any hindrance.
  1. Types of Media and The Laws Governing Them:
    The main goal or purpose of the media is to pass on important messages and information to the public in an easier manner. The information needs to be passed on through the most appropriate or suitable media channel. India has a diverse media landscape with various types of media platforms. Here are some of the major types of media in India:
    1. Print Media:
      Newspapers and magazines play a significant role in Indian media. Popular national newspapers include The Times of India, Hindustan Times, and The Hindu. There are also numerous regional and local newspapers catering to specific states and languages.
    2. Broadcasting Media:
      Historically the broadcasting media was only considered which was in the form of public radio. It helped to pass the worldwide news to the public in a faster way. With time, a lot of changes occurred and radio is not the only form of broadcasting media. The term covers a wide range of services. Some of it is television, advertisements, movies, digital journalism, etc. Even in broadcasting media, the government has set up certain laws which help to regulate the said form of media.
    3. Internet Media:
      With the growth of the internet and smartphone penetration, digital media has gained prominence in India. Online news portals, blogs, streaming platforms (such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar), social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and video-sharing platforms (such as YouTube) are widely used.
    4. Support Media:
      The support media includes all kinds of outdoor advertising. It is traditionally used by the markets and businesses to give out their advertisements in public. This form of media is also used to spread awareness about certain public issues which concern everyone in the public. it includes huge hoardings and banners, in-flight advertisements, advertisements before starting of a movie in the theatre, yellow pages advertising, etc. It grabs people's attention easily and helps them to gain knowledge about certain public issues as well as about the markets and new things that are in trend.
  2. Relation between Freedom of Speech and The Media Industry:
    Freedom of speech is the fundamental right that everyone in our nation is entitled to as mentioned above. A person is entitled to relief if somebody infringes his/her rights. The freedom of speech is the foundation for many other rights. The said law restricts other laws from prohibiting an individual to state their opinions about matters which are important, until and unless spoken about matters which are of national concern and are harmful to the nation.

    In today's life, although the said right plays a very vital role in the media industry, the regulation of freedom of speech in the media is necessary. Freedom of speech comes with certain restrictions as people cannot be allowed to spread unnecessary news or information and hatred against anyone all around the nation.

    The media is regarded as the fourth estate of democracy in India after the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. The power of the media is so much that it can go to an extent where it can make someone's life meaningful and in contrast to that it may also damage someone's reputation to such a scale that he/she may become unrecognizable to the world. The damage done to the reputation of a person usually occurs by the dissemination of fake news, which eventually damages the reputation of the person or an organization about the news.

Freedom of Press:
The Indian Constitution does not explicitly state the right to freedom of the press, but the Supreme Court has ruled that it is already guaranteed under the right to freedom of speech and expression. Although, fake news can damage the reputation of the person about whom the news is. Let us look into a few landmark cases wherein the Supreme Court gave verdicts with regard to the importance of freedom of the press:

In the case of Union of India V. Association of Democratic Reforms[16], the apex court ruled that "inadequate data, misinformation, fraud, and non-information, all contribute to an uneducated public, rendering democracy a farce. The freedom to speech and express oneself encompasses the freedom to provide and receive information, as well as the freedom to have opinions."

The Supreme Court in Romesh Thapar v. State of Madras[17] observed in this case that "press freedom is a component of free speech and expression. Freedom of speech and press is essential for democratic organizations, as without open political conversation, public education is impossible. In this dispute, the Madras restricted the admission and distribution of the English Journal titled 'Crossroad', where the Court determined that without distribution, it is a breach of free speech and expression.

The Hon'ble Court in Indian Express Newspapers v. Union of India & Ors.[18] was of the opinion that "in today's democratic society, the freedom of the press is at the heart of social and political discourse. The press's aim is to advance the public interest by disseminating realities and evaluations that a popularity-based democracy cannot make appropriate decisions without. Papers are distributors of news and opinions with an emphasis on open organization, always deliver content that is unsatisfactory to governments and other authorities."

Freedom of Expression and Social Media:
Social media combines innovation, broadcast communications, and social association to provide a platform for communication. The right to free speech and expression is a principle under the Indian Constitution, and access to the internet and online life has been recognized as a basic right for humans. It includes the freedom to have opinions without interference and the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas.

Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution further grants the citizens of India with the right to free speech and expression. This freedom entails the ability to openly share one's thoughts and judgments through speaking, writing, printing, drawings, or any other means. It also involves the right to spread or publish the opinions of others. Article 19(2) specifies the basis for establishing reasonable limitations on this privilege. Only content that fits within these legal limitations might properly be called "objectionable."

The petitioner in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India[19] challenged the internet cutoff in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where the Court adjudged that "freedom to access the internet is a basic right guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression".

Trial by The Media:
Trial by Media can be explained as the coverage by the media of issues which gives rise to the desirable sentiments, invoking information coupled with entertainment in regard to criminal cases. The media has a prejudicial impact over the accused person, affecting his reputation for his life even if the person is founded innocent by the court of justice. It also has an impact over the mind-set of the people and the judges who are in charge of the case. This significant coverage by the media has given rise to the debate of freedom and speech and fair trial of a person.

The trial by media has a major impact on the judiciary of Indian democracy, because as observed by the Apex Court, it creates a widespread perception of guilt regardless of any verdict in a court of law[20]. In M.P. Lohia v. State of W.B.[21], the Supreme Court observed that freedom of speech and expression can interfere with the administration of justice, as articles appearing in the media could be prejudicial. The duty of a journalist is to report and not adjudicate cases.

The boon of media to Indian democracy can also, irreparably ail democracy's health.[22] Although the criticisms about media for being inaccurate about certain issues and painting a false picture of someone is true, it has also crossed many boundaries to ensure that people get justice. The media ensures the access to justice.

Certain circumstances under which the media came over this challenge by exposing many scams is discussed as follows:
  • It was due to the intervention of media, the Jessica Lal Murder case[23], was re-opened after a huge public outcry, which at first instance was disposed of due to lack of evidence.[24]
  • In Priyadarshini Mattoo case[25], which was one of the high-profile cases, the son of an IPS officer raped and murdered a girl, after which the lower court acquitted the accused whereas, the Delhi High Court reversed the judgment of the lower court and convicted the accused. The role of media was pivotal in ensuring justice for the deceased.[26]
  • In the Tehelka case, the web portal known to be was forced to shut down when it exposed the former defense minister's scam.

Right To Privacy & Data Privacy And Freedom Of Speech:

  1. What is Privacy and Data Privacy?
    "The intensity and complexity of life, attendant upon advancing civilization have rendered necessary some retreat from the world, the man, under the reefing influence of culture, has become more sensitive to publicity, so that solitude and privacy have become more essential to the individual; but modern enterprises and intention have, through invasion upon his privacy, subjected him to mental pain and distress, for greater that could be inflicted by mere bodily injury".[27]

    The right to privacy is the fundamental right of protection of life and personal liberty, guaranteed by the Constitution of India. It states that "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law".[28] Data Privacy has not been legally defined but it means the right to have sole access and power over confidential personal documents and how and for what purpose they are used.

    "A citizen has a right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child bearing and education amongst others. No one can publish anything concerning the above matters without his consent � whether truthful or otherwise, and whether laudatory or critical. If he does so, he would be violating the right to privacy of the person concerned and would be liable in action for damages."[29]

    Privacy plays a vital role in gaining the power to choose and share thoughts and feelings with people. It helps in protecting confidential information and reduces the risk of them being used illegally. It is based on individual perspectives and choices, as well as the governmental authorities and the political and technological environment in which we live. Also, as ruled by the Apex Court, "Right to Privacy is intrinsic to life and liberty, thus falling under the category of a Fundamental Right for every citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India"[30].

    Technology has both advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include connecting millions to the world, while disadvantages include unwanted interference and misuse of information. Technology has helped millions connect to the other side of the world, but it can also lead to unwanted interference and misuse of information.
  2. What are the different aspects of privacy infringement?
    The concept of privacy has changed over time. From focusing on the status and esteem of oneself to physical, mental, and psychological privacy. All three are necessary for a human being to live in a secure state of mind. "Concept of privacy has bought recent developments that have brought dynamic changes in living conditions of all human beings."[31]

    The degree of personal intrusion can vary depending on the individual's morals and opinions. For example, one may think a person is doing wrong by being a homosexual, but that person may or may not find it to be a violation of their right to privacy. To be precise the Naz Foundation Case[32] may be brought to light here. It is a landmark judgment given by the Delhi High Court which discusses consensual homosexuality. It was held that the "Right to Privacy is a protection to one's private space in which man may become and remain himself"[33].

    The second kind of infringement is when a person's personal and confidential information gets leaked in public. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, was introduced in 2019 by Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology to protect citizens from misuse of their personal data by government authorities, companies, and foreign national companies. It recognizes sensitive personal data such as financial, biometric, caste, and religious/political beliefs.

    The third concept due to which a person's privacy gets infringed is when there is a lack of autonomy in making certain decisions. "Different legal systems emphasize different aspects of the right to privacy; many claims to privacy are hard to distinguish from claims to respect for personal integrity, to personality, and to freedom from interference from government and other external agents."[34]
  3. Relation between Freedom of Speech and Right to Privacy:
    During the current scenario, Freedom of Speech and Right to Privacy both have become an essential need of the hour. They are both mutually reinforcing rights. For a better, democratic and self-sufficient society, both the rights are necessary. "While Freedom of expression is essential for diverse cultural expression, creativity, and innovation, as well as the development of one's personality through self-expression, the Right to Privacy is equally important for ensuring the individuals' autonomy, facilitating the development of their sense of self, and enabling them to form relationships with others."[35]

    Privacy and Freedom of Speech are essential for self-sufficiency, as they allow people to express themselves and make their own decisions. However, simultaneously practicing both rights is difficult as it maintains a thin line between them because at times a person's right to privacy may infringe another person's right to freedom of speech. In simple terms, "right to privacy and freedom of speech and expression are two sides of the same coin, each an essential prerequisite to the enjoyment of the other."[36]

    In a significant judgment pronounced by the Supreme Court of India, in the case of People's Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India[37], it was held that "tapping of telephone was infringing a person's right to privacy under Article 21 and Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19(1)(a)". The Supreme Court ruled that phone tapping is infringing on the right to freedom of speech and privacy unless permission from the Home Secretary is granted or the situation falls under reasonable restrictions[38].
  4. Relation between Freedom of Speech and Data Privacy:
    In today's world where technology has taken over, data protection has been affected and infringed severely which has led to misuse of sensitive information. Without one's awareness, the information is used for several purposes like manipulating or even robbing someone.[39] "Cybercrime and cyber-security are attracting increasing attention, both for the relevance of Critical Information Infrastructure to the national economy and security, and the interplay of the policies tackling them with 'ICT sensitive' liberties, such as privacy and data protection."[40] Technology is causing disruptions in human lifestyles, manipulating thought processes, and compromising data protection.

    The most accurate example of infringement of data privacy would be phishing. Phishing is an attack to steal one's money or identity by getting personal information through fraudulent websites or text messages. The provision for phishing is under section 66C of the Information Technology Act, and recent examples include the RBI Phishing Scam, Income Tax Department Phishing Scam, and ICC World Cup 2011 Phishing Scam.

Impact Of Freedom Of Speech And Expression On Media, Right To Privacy & Data Privacy:

Rights to Privacy, Freedom of Speech & Expression, and Media are interrelated but may conflict. "The Internet is a global resource that should be managed in the public interest. Digital technologies have greatly enhanced freedom of expression and access to information while also posing significant challenges to the protection of individuals' right to privacy and personal data. There are various issues regarding the serious risks posed to the right to privacy of an individual and their personal data when enormous data is released for societal benefits."[41]

Media has become unpredictable due to commercialization and its infringing on the right to privacy. Despite the regulations media is trying to practice its own freedom of speech and expression but is also infringing on the fundamental right to privacy and personal liberty of those it covers. The Hon'ble Andhra Pradesh High Court expresses a similar point of view "Once an event involving a notable person or institution occurs, the media goes into overdrive, leaving very little time for the prosecution or the courts to investigate the matter".[42]

Freedom of speech has both negative and positive aspects to it. In the Arushi Murder Case[43], the Supreme Court of India cautioned the media for their irresponsible and misleading reporting, which intruded on the victim, her family, and the deceased house servant's reputation and privacy. The Apex Court while stating the clarification said that, "media has the right to publish the important information required as it is important in a democratic nation, but it should not interfere with the investigation. It has to be in a way which would not affect the reputation of the parties in question and does make people prejudice about the case."[44]

In May 2021, the Indian Government set up a new IT rule to protect privacy and freedom of speech which was to break the end-to-end encryption of a text message to know the originator. Many questions were raised regarding this rule, however, while giving clarification to the new rule, the government said that "Technology Companies need regulations but not at the expense of user rights"[45].

As discussed above, phishing is the biggest example of data privacy breach. It certainly relies upon social networking sites and their techniques. The attackers gather information through public sources to commit fraud and rob people. These kinds of cybercrimes are being committed by many known institutions as well. People trust institutions with their personal information; however, institutions misuse it for their own benefit. Certain laws regulate such activities under the IT Act.

From the above article, it may be concluded that the risk and impact are huge. However, laws are being made and implied for the protection of a person or institution's stated fundamental rights, each of them without overlapping the other. The restrictions that the courts validate today have an implication for tomorrow. Only by considering these implications can we properly evaluate the true costs and benefits of any proposed issue related to violation of privacy.

  1. Indian Constitution, Art. 19.
  2. Ibid.
  3. H.M. Seervai, Constitutional Law of India 723 (Universal Law Publishing Co., Vol. 1, 4th edn. 1991).
  4. Supra Note 1.
  5. Indian Constitution, Art. 32.
  6. P.U.C.L v. Union of India, AIR 1997 SC 568
  7. The Telegraph Act, Section 5
  8. Kedarnath Singh v. State of Bihar, AIR 1962 SC 955
  9. Romesh Thappar v. The State of Madras, 1950 AIR 124
  10. Navtej Sigh Johar v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 1
  11. KA Abbas v. Union of India, AIR 1971 SC 481
  12. Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, AIR 2015 SC 1523s
  13. Indirect Tax Practitioners Association v R K Jain, (1983) 4 SCC 125
  14. The Contempt of Courts Act, Section 2
  15. Khushwant Singh and Anr. vs Maneka Gandhi, AIR 2002 Delhi 58
  16. Union of India v. Association of Democratic Reforms, AIR 2001 Delhi 126
  17. Romesh Thapar v. State of Madras, 1950 SCR 594
  18. Indian Express Newspapers v. Union of India & Ors., (1985)1 SCC 641
  19. Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1031 Of 2019
  20. RK Anand v. Delhi High Court, (2009) 8 SCC 106
  21. MP Lohia v. State of WB, (2005) 2 SCC 686
  22. Media's Freedom of Speech and Expression and Independent Functionaries Dichotomy: The Fourth Pillar Put to Democratic Test by Himanshu Rathee and Mehul Rathee.
  23. Manu Sharma v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2010) 6 SCC 1
  25. Santosh Kumar Singh v. State, (2010) 9 SCC 747
  26. Kathakali Nand, Investigative Role of Media: Responsibility to the Society.
  27. Warren and Brandies, The Right to Privacy, 4 Harvard Law Review, 193 (1890)
  28. Constitution of India, Art. 21.
  29. R. Rajgopal v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 1995 SC 264
  30. J. K S Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors., AIR 2017 SC 4161
  31. Meenakshi Bains, Right to Privacy in the Digital Era (July, 2018). Amity International Journal of Law and Multidisciplinary Studies, Vol. 2 � Issue No. 3, 2018, Pg. 55-63
  32. Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, 160 Delhi Law Times 277
  33. Ibid.
  34. Infringement of Privacy. The Encyclopedia of World Problems & Human Potential.
  35. Sneha Jaiswal, The line between right to privacy and freedom of speech in the digital media (November, 2021).
  36. Carly Nyst, Two sides of the same coin � The right to privacy and freedom of expression (February 02, 2018).
  37. People's Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India, AIR 1997 SC 568
  38. Article 19(2), Constitution of India
  39. Dr. Keith Goldstein, Dr. Ohad Shem Tov, and Mr. Dan Prazeres, The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age (April 09, 2018). Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  40. PORCEDDA, Maria Grazia, Data Protection and the Prevention of Cybercrime: The EU as an area of security?
  41. Supra Note 41.
  42. Labour Liberation Front v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2005 (1) ALT 740
  43. Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Anr v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2013 (82) ACC 303
  44. Madhabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, 1.1 Media, Ethics and The Constitution. Reading Material One Year Diploma in Media Laws, Pg. 123-124
  45. Prabhjote Gill, Here's what India's new IT rules want - and why WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and others are reluctant to comply (May, 2021).

Award Winning Article Is Written By:
  1. Purnima Dash, BA LLB 2023 Graduate - KIIT School of Law, Bhubaneswar
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  2. Shabarna Choudhury, BBA LLB 2023 Graduate - KIIT School of Law, Bhubaneswar
    Legal Associate, PLAYTOOME
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How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

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