Privacy in India - Country Report - October 2011

122 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2013

Date Written: October 30, 2011


Although not specifically referenced in the Constitution of India, the Right to Privacy is considered a ‘penumbral right’ under the Constitution i.e. a right that has been declared by the Supreme Court as integral to the Fundamental Right to Life and Liberty and Freedom of Expression.

In addition, although no single statute confers a cross-cutting ‘horizontal’ right to privacy to indian citizens, various statutes and regulatory instruments contain provisions which either implicitly or explicitly preserve this right. This paper attempts to provide a detailed tracking of the fate of privacy in India drawn both from constitutional and statutory regimes, as well as newspaper accounts.

This is my unfinished draft of a Country Study on Privacy in India commissioned by IDRC/Privacy International in 2010-2011. The draft has been circulating for a while on a number of websites, and has been cited in a few other papers without my name. I'm posting it here as a venue to park it while I complete it and to enable it to be cited appropriately.

Keywords: Right to Privacy, India, Constitution, Freedom of Information, intelligence, surveillance, biometric, IT Act, cyber crime, counterfeits, DNA testing, data retention, identity cards, cyber cafes, medical privacy, databases, data sharing, banking, insurance, workplace monitoring

Suggested Citation

Iyengar, Prashant, Privacy in India - Country Report - October 2011 (October 30, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Prashant Iyengar (Contact Author)

MESAAS, Columbia University ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

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