The Supreme Court of India recently ruled that the right to privacy is an integral part of the right to life and personal liberty enshrined in the Indian constitution, and as such is entitled to the same legal protection.
The Supreme Court went on to stress the need to formulate legislation and regulation that will provide the proper arrangement for the protection of data in India.
Following this judgment, India’s government has set up a committee to provide recommendations as to the data protection regime to be introduced.
This judgment, which seems trivial in jurisdictions like the European Union, is a major development in India, especially in light of previous Supreme Court judgments adjudicating that privacy is not protected under India’s constitution. Furthermore, this judgment is yet another signal to all businesses with cross-border activities that they should be well-aware that all their activities with respect to personal data fall under various privacy and data protection regimes (which are growing stricter and stricter over time), as well as that additional regimes will be shortly introduced in non-regulated jurisdictions. Failure to act in accordance with such regimes, or failure to prepare for their introduction, will no doubt carry substantial legal hardships, and will also have a strong detrimental effect on business and commercial aspects as well.