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New law to protect individual privacy in India

June 23, 2010

New Delhi: Amid growing concerns over the potential misuse of personal data, the government is moving to enact India’s first law to safeguard privacy, a move aimed at least partly at deflecting worries over the immense amount of data it proposes to collect about its citizens.

The United Progressive Alliance government has set up a panel of senior officials of the rank of secretary to prepare a blueprint laying down the ground rules for privacy and data protection and fixing the criminal liability of offenders.

Once in place, the law will effectively recognize the right to privacy of an individual as a fundamental right. It will contain specific rules that will address any breach of a citizen’s right to privacy and include safeguards against potential violations of the law even by the government.

“The talks on having a privacy Bill have been going on for a long time. But this is the first time the government has set up such a committee. The decision was taken two weeks ago,” said a senior home ministry official, who didn’t want to be named.

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