No law yet to protect woman’s privacy: Orissa HC


CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Monday expressed concern over the fact that there is no statute in India which provides right to a woman whose objectionable photos have been uploaded in social media to get them erased from the server of the platforms permanently. While rejecting a bail plea, Justice SK Panigrahi said that the issue ‘cries for a widespread debate’.

The petitioner had allegedly raped a girl, recorded the crime and uploaded the videos on Facebook through a fake account. Justice Panigrahi observed that rights of the victim to get those uploaded photos and videos erased from Facebook server still remain unaddressed for want of appropriate legislation. Even as the statute prescribes penal action for the accused for such crimes, the rights of the victim – particularly her right to privacy which is intricately linked to her right to get those objectionable videos deleted – remains unresolved, he said. “Undoubtedly, such an act will be contrary to the larger interest of protection of women against exploitation and blackmailing as has happened in this case. The purpose of Beti Bachao Andolan and women safety concerns will be trampled”, he further observed.

Justice Panigrahi expressed concern that there is an unprecedented rise in such incidents of crime on social media platforms and the victims could not get their photos and videos deleted permanently from the servers. He said incidents like these have attracted attention overseas leading to the European Union framing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which governs the manner in which personal data can be collected, processed and erased. “Unfortunately, hardly any effort has been made in India”, he regretted.