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WhatsApp vs. Aadhaar – Centre Argues for Privacy

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court in India is going to hear the argument of the Centre in what concerns the right to privacy. This hearing is connected to the privacy debate going on with the Aadhaar case. In this case, the Centre ruled that the right to privacy is not found among the list of fundamental rights, but it is merely a common law right. As such, the only unauthorized intrusion into a person’s privacy can be protected under the Article 21 in the Constitution.

An Interesting Debate

This entire line of argument that was issued by the Centre contradicts the government position. The latter issued a stand in favor of privacy in front of the Supreme Court in what concerns the WhatsApp privacy policy case.

Centre Argues for Privacy

The Centre communicated to the Supreme Court that the information belonging to a certain person is intimate. In fact, it represents an extension of their personality. The Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha declared that any data related to him represents the footsteps of his life and is intimate to him, as stated in Article 21. Consequently, anything that impinges on one’s own data also impinges on their right.

Narasimha told the Supreme Court that if data is equaled to goods and products, stealing it can also be punished by law. Moreover, who carries the proprietary rights?

On the other hand, the Centre says that the petitions that challenge the Aadhaar scheme in what regards the violation of the right to privacy cannot be supported by Article 21. In a written paper they submitted to the court, the Centre claimed that the only unauthorized intrusions into privacy find protection with the Article 21.

In the court, those who initiated the petition argued in favor of a broader definition assigned to privacy. Gopal Subramanium, who is a senior counsel, claimed that liberty and freedom can’t exist without having the right to privacy.

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