HYDERABAD: An online petition ‘Our Right to Privacy is Under Threat, Save Our Privacy’ is garnering a lot of support online. At least 10,951 netizens have joined hands to oppose the Centre’s decision that empowers 10 agencies to snoop private data on computers. Seven principles have been framed of which one is a demand to establish a Privacy Commission to enforce the privacy principles.
The seven principles listed in the online petition are based on the Indian Privacy Code, 2018. It provides an understanding on citizens’ law on data protection, surveillance and interception.
The petition emphasises how an individual and his rights are primary and the law on privacy must empower an individual by advancing the right to privacy. “The government has the most amount of power and information on the people of India. It is imperative that the government, its arms, bodies and programmes be compliant with privacy protection principles through a data protection law. We support the use of digital technologies for public benefit. However, they should not be privileged over fundamental rights,” the petition pointed out.
Apar Gupta, a cyber security expert said, “I urge people to support and sign the #SaveOurPrivacy petition. We are committed to surveillance reform and have a ready legal framework.”
The petition demanded that when individual interception and surveillance was carried out, this should be severely limited in substance and practice through procedural safeguards. To ensure their enforceability, there should be an office for surveillance reform at the Privacy Commission and any orders for interception need to be made by a judicial determination in which a public advocate represents the interests of the person whose privacy will be interfered with.