The petition has been filed by Vinit Goenka, a businessman by profession. He alleged that Microsoft have accessed his sensitive business informations and shares with third party. Based on the articles published in CNN, Reuters, Forbes etc., he also alleged that Microsoft has a previous record of spying and data theft - that it has an internal system of spying on the softwares used by the citizens without their knowledge and permission.
The petition also highlighted the wide usage of Microsoft software by government agencies which apprehended to lead to a threat to the national security. It has been contended by the petitioner that the fundamental right to privacy is available against the non-state actors, and the growing power of social media and software giants, the implementation of such protection under law must be made more strict.
A nine judge bench of the Supreme Court on 24th August 2017 in the case of Puttuswamy vs. Union of India declared that right to privacy is a fundamental right which is to be protected under Part III of the Constitution of India. This landmark judgement has repercussions across both State and non-State actors.
- It is a fundamental rights: Right to privacy has been enacted as a fundamental right under art. 21 of the Constitution of India. Any infringement of such right by the state shall be subject to judicial review.
- Non State Actors: The judgement also recognized the impact that the non-state actors can have on the personal privacy on the internet. While fundamental rights are usually enforced only against actions of the State, but this extended to the informational privacy and extended its principle to the private sector as well including the non State actors.
- The Data (Privacy and Protection) Bill, 2017: The Act says that “it shall extend to the whole of India and, save as otherwise provided in this Act, it shall also apply to any offence or contravention thereunder committed outside India by any person".
Sec. 5 of the Act clearly stated that no person is allowed to collect, store, process, disclose or use in any way, any personal data of another person or carry out surveillance of another person except in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
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