The Government has redrafted the draft of the much-talked-about Right to Privacy Bill that would be placed before the secretaries of the ministries concerned within a week.
The secretary of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training, has already given approval.
Among the key changes, the inter-ministerial committee has suggested that only Indian residents will have the right to privacy, and restrictions on rights to privacy can only be imposed in accordance with law and to meet the specific objectives, according to a recent discussion.
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The key infringements include collection, processing, storage and disclosure of personal data, interception or monitoring of communications sent by or to individual, surveillance of the individual by any means, and sending unsolicited commercial communications to individuals, which includes direct marketing.
The work for the Right to Privacy Bill had begun in 2010 after the Nira Radia tapes were leaked into public domain which raised concern for individual privacy. Post the Radia tapes issue, Ratan Tata, the then chairman of Tata group had moved Supreme Court complaining that his privacy was violated.
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In 2011, the Government had formed a committee, headed by former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court AP Shah Shah to suggest legislations for the proposed Right to Privacy Bill. This committee submitted a report in 2012, following which the Bill is being drafted.
However, the draft bill states that the government will have the power to curtail an individual’s right to privacy in matters concerning national security, and sets the legal parameters for surveillance in India and spells out exemptions to take care of national security concerns.