RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND SOCIAL MEDIA

RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Article 21 of the Constitution of India states that “No
person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty
except according to procedure established by law”. On 24
August 2017, the Supreme Court of India in a historic
judgement declared the right to privacy as a fundamental
right protected under the Indian Constitution.
Judiciary is that imperative organ of our government which
upholds for the protection of fundamental rights of the
citizens of our country and in case of any violation, any
ordinary citizen can approach the supreme court under the
right to constitutional remedies thereafter the highest
interpreter of our constitution can issue writs in order to
guard our fundamental rights. This much factual data
reveals us that our right to privacy is a fundamental right
and no one could be discriminated over this right on the
basis of its caste, religion, caste, sex or place of birth.

Now let us see what actually constitutes privacy and
what is privacy breach?
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude
themselves or information about themselves, and thereby
express themselves selectively. The concept of privacy at
an individual level may appear to be a silly one but it has
great legal sovereign importance. Privacy signifies that an
individual’s or organizational personal/profession values,
thoughts and ethics are securely governed by that entity
alone and data regarding must not be breached in any
form. Data or Privacy breach can incur large losses to even
the greatest economies of the world. Hence, most of the
strong developed countries have strong laws regarding

the protection of rights to privacy and punitive measures
against the accused.
The right to privacy is our right to keep a domain around
us, which includes all those things that are part of us, such
as our body, home, property, thoughts, feelings, secrets
and identity. The right to privacy gives us the ability to
choose which parts in this domain can be accessed by
others, and to control the extent, manner and timing of the
use of those parts we choose to disclose. Hence, it
includes the concept of limited access which refers to a
person's ability to participate in society without having
other individuals and organizations collect information
about them. Privacy is often sometimes described as the
option to have secrecy. It is the right of people to conceal
information about themselves that others might use to
their disadvantage.
“Privacy is a myth.”
These are not my words but the principle on which the
entire internet world of social media is based upon.
Though it looks like our messages, communications,
profile, chats, and blogs are solely handled by us, the
reality can be quite disappointing and could tell us the
scenario behind our privacy breach. The entire platform of
various social media giants works on the buying/selling of
information/data among various levels in their firms. Data
is considered more valuable than gold/stocks/crypto these
days because accumulation of good data can lead to
tremendous rise of various multinational firms and can be
responsible for modifying the minds of the general public.
Social media components like posts, stories, selfie culture,
tags, blogs can be responsible for criticising thoughts and
beliefs of certain specific sections of our society and can
even lead to communal distrust and
tensions. Data Breach can also lead to social criticism of
thoughts/beliefs shared by an individual which can lead to

mental disorders like anxiety, depressions among these
individuals.
Our Right to privacy can also be exploited in such a
manner that it can lead to international tensions between
strong power blocs of the world. For Instance, the US
government recently accused many China based firms
who were found guilty of mishandling and selling the data
of US Dignitaries to the Chinese officials. Similar
accusations were made against Russia, hired hackers who
led Trump to the winning of former US presidential
elections. The criterion of working for these hackers and
spies is initially to identify the interests and issues faced
by a community and thereafter to design the platform of
social media websites in such a way in order to reshape
the minds of the inhabitants of that region towards a
specific goal or value. The remodelling of an individual’s
mind is done in a series of steps which foremost includes
collecting, aggregating and dissemination of information.
This is known as mishandling of data. The main attack to
an individual’s privacy is privacy invasion and privacy
intrusion. An invasion is an attack in which information,
whether intended to be public or not, is captured in a way
that insults the personal dignity and right to private space
of the person whose data is taken. An intrusion is any
unwanted entry into a person's private personal space and
solitude for any reason, regardless of whether data is
taken during that breach of space.
Now, many multi tech giants try to develop strong and
better working digital systems in order to prevent privacy
breach of their individuals and to gain better confidence in
the eyes of their users. One such technique which is
recent in Indian news also is the technique of encryption.
WhatsApp and many other messaging apps guarantee that
the messages in their app are end-to-end encrypted and
even the company itself can never watch your personal

messages and privacy is always secured. But the new IT
laws passed by the Indian government require such kinds
of platforms to comply with rules framed under it.
According to new rules, companies should be able to
provide the government with the starting source of any
such message or entity which can cause communal
disharmony among communities and could even lead to
breach of national security. Now the contention arises that
if this needs to be done, then WhatsApp must break the
end-to-end encryption which will go against the company’s
policies to protect the privacy of its users. On one side
exists the right to privacy and on the other side the vital
National Security. Let’s see where this contention finally
ends!!!
Therefore, there are no two different opinions that social
media platforms play a vital role in securing the
fundamental right to privacy of its users. But proper
effective monitoring of these platforms is also imperative
in order to maintain the sovereignty of a nation and to
prevent any kind of breach of national security and peace.
Need of the hour is to design such regulatory boards by
the government through a statutory act which must be
independent in its working and free from any external
influence regarding all the technical decisions. Such
Regulatory boards must have youth in it which have
proper understanding and knowledge about the changing
IT and Social media scenario so that better functioning of
these would yield better results in future. By this, National
security, Social media Activities and the protection of the
right to privacy can work hand in hand.