The ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in India

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The ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in India

The ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in India

Recently, a famous television actor ‘Ashutosh Kaushik’ has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to remove all his photos, videos and articles from the internet. In this petition, he has cited the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ for this.

Demands made in the petition:

  • Kaushik’s plea has been sought to remove all ‘posts and videos related to him on the Internet’ as it has caused constant social and psychological suffering to the petitioner for petty acts committed by him a decade ago by mistake.
  • It has also been said in the petition that all the mistakes made in the personal life of the petitioner, the punishment or correction necessary for those mistakes, has been done. Now those mistakes should have nothing to do with the life of the petitioner.

‘Right to be Forgotten’ in the Indian context:

  • The ‘right to be forgotten’ also comes within the ambit of the ‘right to privacy’ of the individual.
  • The ‘right to privacy’ was declared a ‘fundamental right’ under Article 21 by the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment in the ‘Puttaswamy case’ of 2017.

In this context, the provisions made under the ‘Private Data Protection Bill’:

  • The ‘right to privacy’ is governed by the ‘Personal Data Protection Bill’, although this bill is still pending in Parliament.
  • And this Bill also specifically talks about the “Right to be forgotten”.
  • Generally, under the ‘right to be forgotten’, the user also has the right to de-link or limit his personal information submitted by ‘data fiduciaries’ and to delete it completely, or you can also correct the information to show it with corrections.

Disputes relating to this provision in the Bill:

  • The main issue with this provision is that the sensitivity of personal data and information cannot be determined independently by the person concerned, but will be overseen by the Data Protection Authority (DPA).
  • However, as per the provision made in the draft bill, the user can demand the removal of his personal data from the Internet, but his right will be subject to the permission of the adjudicating officer working for the ‘Data Protection Authority’.

Source – The Hindu

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