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Google, Facebook, WhatsApp need to respect law of the land: Prasad

Govt is yet to decide if IT Act is enough or a separate law for data protection is required, he said

Kiran Rathee  |  New Delhi 

Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad  during a press conference on Supreme Court's ruling holding privacy as a Fundamental Right, at Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad during a press conference on Supreme Court's ruling holding privacy as a Fundamental Right, at Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: PTI

In the wake of the Supreme Court (SC) judgment on being a fundamental right, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said internet firms such as and that had access to user needed to respect the law of the land. 

He, however, did not give details on the issue and what would happen if these companies misused  

There have been reports about and by which user details have been sold at a premium. Also in the case of mobile applications, users have to accept the terms and conditions of the app such as access to the camera, contacts list, and messages.

When pointed out that there had been instances of banks giving out customer information, the minister said no public sector bank had done that and if any private bank was found to do it, it would have to face the consequences.

The government has constituted a 10-member committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna, to deliberate on a protection framework for the country. The committee has held two meetings to discuss the issue. According to official sources, depending on the nature of the report, the government will take a call if there is a need for a separate law on protection or the is enough.

Sources further said the government, to demonstrate that it was serious about the matter, had asked smartphone players to share details about their architecture. The government is also probing the for sending user to a remote server.

The government will also strengthen the of the country.  

The Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has come up with a consultation paper on privacy, security, and the of in the sector even as it looks to define personal and who should have and control when a customer uses services. 

Currently there are no guidelines on the use of by third parties and also who owns the

The Srikrishna committee will make suggestions on principles of protection and a draft protection bill. 

“The government is cognisant of the growing importance of protection in India. The need to ensure growth of the while keeping personal of secure and protected is of utmost importance,” the government had said after forming the committee.

First Published: Fri, August 25 2017. 02:11 IST
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