Right to be Forgotten : Status in India – UPSC GS3

Right to be Forgotten: Status in other countries
  • The European Union in 2018 adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Article 17 of which provides for the right to erasure of certain categories of personal data.
  • Russia in 2015 enacted a law that allows users to force a search engine to remove links to personal information on grounds of irrelevancy, inaccuracy and violation of law.
  • The right to be forgotten is also recognised to some extent in Turkey and Siberia.
  • Courts in Spain and England have ruled on the subject.
What is the position in India?
  • Right to privacy has been recognised as a fundamental right in the K S Puttaswamy judgment (2017) and that the ‘right to be forgotten’ is evolving in India. 
  • Personal Data Protection Bill contains provisions to the doctrine of the ‘right to be forgotten’.
What is the opinion of the courts on this issue?
  • Delhi High Court: The right to be forgotten and right to be left alone are inherent aspects of the right to privacy.
  • Karnataka High Court ordered its registry to ensure that any Internet search engine does not reflect a woman’s name in an order passed in 2015. I
  • Orissa High Court, ruling in a case relating to videos uploaded on Facebook by a rape accused, stated that: Allowing such objectionable photos and videos to remain on a social media platform, without the consent of a woman, is a direct affront (offence) on a woman’s modesty and, more importantly, her right to privacy. It did not, however, pass an order on removal of the videos.
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