Cyber Law: Privacy Concern with respect to social media By: Pavan B B

The advancement of state and individual technology
and over-dependence of their information and communication technology (ICT)
social economic activities has its benefits as well as demerits. This provides
a forum for the proliferation of socio-economic activities in less territorial
boundaries. It is intentionally and innocently that sensitive data of various
natures is transmitted through this medium. Sophisticated technology transmits,
stores and processes confidential information of the private nature of subjects
with or without their consent through software and hardware, resulting in
social and economic loss.

Concept of privacy

Offline Privacy

The word ‘Privacy’ is derived from Latin word ‘privatus’
meaning ‘separated or deprived from the rest, solitude’.

Due to various reasons such as
historical, cultural and religious beliefs and practices which adhere to
different value systems in cultures, the definition of privacy is not universal
around the globe. An information that one may perceive as private information
turns out to be accessible to others. Nevertheless,’ privacy’ is regarded as
the private information of the existence or circumstances of the person outside
the public domain, irrespective of these inherent difficulties.

Online privacy

The Web or cyberspace is a less physical frontier. This area is, however, in organic form, but its existence is felt by the introduction of advanced technologies which accelerated the pace of social economic growth. Rapid expansion and advancement of sophisticated technology has added online version of privately-owned information to traditional forms of data protection information already available in the form of documents.The new version of information regarding privacy covers users ‘ online activities during professional or non-professional internet access.These online activities are monitored for their own advantage by the interested party. In addition, technology has introduced new ways to store and manipulate the information related to privacy against the person which resulting in public embarrassment and economic loss.

Some of the approaches used in cyberspace to
collect information are as follows

  1. Google’s search engine’ Internet history’
  2. data mining, static analysis, face recognition
  3. photo tagging websites, discussion forums, deep pocket inspection
  4. Spams are unanswered messages

All the above-mentioned
sophisticated nature of software technologies in some way infringes the privacy
right of individuals even in cyberspace to “be left alone.”

Protection Of Privacy

Right to privacy

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states that’
No person shall be deprived of his or her life or personal freedom except in
accordance with the procedure laid down by law.’ It was understood after
reading Article 21 that the word ‘ life’ includes all those aspects of life
that go to make the life of a man meaningful, complete, and worth living.

Like all mankind has ever done, it has had a positive and a negative side. Technology has entered every part of our lives, whether or not the invasion was desired, we can’t be sure whether a third party understood what we say. Today’s world philosophy may be: whatever you do, the world gets to know about it before you understand it.

Social Media

Social media refers to websites and software
designed to enable people to share content in a fast, secure or real-time
manner. Many people on their smartphone or tablet identify social media as
apps, but the reality is that this networking tool originated with computers.
This misconception stems from the fact that most social media users are using
apps to access their devices.

Kinds of social media

1.Social networking sites

The majority of us are acquainted with social networking sites such as
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Such networks allow us to communicate with
families, friends and brands. They are all about private, human-to-human
communication and promoting knowledge sharing. Users can exchange ideas, curate
content, upload pictures and videos, enter interest-based groups, and engage in
lively discussions. They are designed around the individual and all that
matters to them and their social circles.

2. Social review sites

Review sites provide feedback for
all kinds of places and experiences from community members. It eliminates a lot
of the guesswork.

3. Image sharing sites

Our minds, ears and imaginations
are captured by visual content such as photographs, infographics and diagrams.
Social media platforms such as Instagram, Imgur, and Snapchat are designed to
enhance image sharing capacity. Users create, curate and upload unique photos
that give rise to dialogue and speak for themselves.

4.Video networking

YouTube video hosting services revolutionized our
way of watching, making, and learning about content. This made the platform
into something that could be viewed. Recent software and networking
advancements have helped video go the rest of the way.

5. Public blogs

Online blogging sites provide a space for people to
express their thoughts and help them interact to readers.

6. Discussion sites

While most of us have seen a lot
of heated discussion happening on Twitter, discussion forums like Reddit or
Quora are specifically designed to spark a conversation. Anyone can ask a

question or make a statement,
attracting people with shared interests or curiosities. Unlike Facebook and
Instagram, though, users tend to provide information that is less visible.

Privacy policy

A privacy policy is a report that outlines how any
user, customer or employee information collected in its activities is managed
by an company. Many websites provide site visitors with their privacy policies.
A privacy page should include any personally identifiable information obtained,
such as name, email or credit card number, as well as other items such as order
history, browsing habits, etc.The policy should also explain whether data, such
as cookies, can be left on a user’s computer. The policy should disclose,
according to best practices, if data can be shared or sold to third parties and
if so, what is the purpose.

National policy of privacy

The Planning Commission, Government of India,
formed a committee under the chairmanship of Justice A. P. Shah, former chief
justice of Delhi Court, recognizing the need to review the Privacy Rules. The
committee submitted its report after a brainstorming session and suggested a
national privacy policy.

The parameters of the new national policy

  1. Notice
  2. Selection and Consensus
  3. collection limitation
  4. Purpose limitation
  5. Access and correction
  6. Disclosure of information
  7. Security
  8. Openness

Provision Related to Privacy

Privacy Bill 2011

every individual shall have a
right to his privacy — confidentiality of communication made to, or, by him —
including his personal correspondence, telephone conversations, telegraph
messages, postal, electronic mail and other modes of communication;
confidentiality of his private or his family life; protection of his honour and
good name; protection from search, detention or exposure of lawful
communication between and among individuals; privacy from surveillance;
confidentiality of his banking and financial transactions, medical and legal
information and protection of data relating to individual

Online privacy regulations

In India there is no specific act related to online privacy. However, according to section 5(2), the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, empowers the government to intercept the messages. This right is not unguided since it reflects the language of the section itself. The reasons given are India’s national emergency, public security, independence and dignity, state security, friendly relations with India

Provision Under IT Act

  1. Section 43(c) penalizes anyone who enters any computer system or network with pathogens or viruses
  2. Section 66A punishes the person sending offensive messages through communications services like emails, social media, etc.
  3. Section 66B punishes for receiving stripped computer resources in duplicity.Section
  4. 66C includes a punishment for identity theft that may stretch to 3 years and Rs. 1 lakh’s fine.

Data protection laws

Data protection provisions are divided into different laws.51 The Information Technology Act 2000 (Amendment 2008) (IT Act) allows for civil and criminal penalties in the event of data protection breaches.

Section 43 of the Act clearly sets out various types of acts committed by any person who, without the prior permission of the owner or in charge of the device, computer system or computer network, carries out any of the following activities which may directly or indirectly affect the issue of privacy and data protection.

Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005

The CICR Act deals with confidentiality and data
protection in the context of’ credit information.’ The Act governs the
operation of the Credit Information Company by making it mandatory for the
company to register under the 1956 Company Act.

Suggestion and summary

Privacy rights are important to personality growth as
a whole. This concept must be properly defined and applied uniformly. This
right are threatened by technological development and human over-dependence on
technology. The innovations have infiltrated individuals ‘ personal and public
life. The right to privacy and data protection is twin but not the same.New
technologies introduce new methods of violating privacy, such as spamming,
cookies, theft of identity. A robust privacy policy is required.

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