Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Jay Panda on Friday said there should be right to privacy with very narrowly defined exceptions. Panda said though the issue had come to the fore because of the Aadhaar initiative, “this issue goes far beyond Aadhaar because privacy and data protection are issues that are going on for at least a decade”.
Raising the issue of privacy and data protection in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour, Panda said Aadhaar has brought tremendous benefits to the country but the choice should not be between Aadhaar and privacy and data protection.
He said the country was making a big leap into digital but the laws were outdated, adding that the rules concerning Information Technology Act were seen as inadequate by many experts.
“In my opinion, there is a right to privacy — whether it is fundamental or not, the Supreme Court is hearing but it is inferred from constitutional guarantees,” he said, adding that the right to privacy cannot be absolute.
“So, there must be a right to privacy with very narrowly defined exceptions,” he said.
Other members said there should be a wider debate on the issue, to which Speaker Sumitra Mahajan replied positively saying she has no objections allowing a debate after getting proper notice from members.