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Tech giants, banks and telcos must respect privacy laws, says govt

Internet giants such as Facebook and Google are contributing in turning India into a global digital power but they will have to respect law

business Updated: Aug 24, 2017 23:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Tech Giant,facebook,Google
Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad at a press conference on Supreme Court's ruling on Right to Privacy, at Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

Internet giants such as Facebook and Google are contributing in turning India into a global digital power but they will have to respect law, the government said on Thursday after the SC ruled that the right to privacy was a fundamental right.

Union law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government had already set up a high-powered committee headed by justice BN Srikrishna to come up with the framework for a “robust data protection regime”.

“Non-state agencies will also have to abide by that,” Prasad said, referring to the judgment.

“We commend to the Union government the need to examine and put into place a robust regime for data protection. The creation of such a regime requires a careful and sensitive balance between individual interests and legitimate concerns of the state,” the court had said in the morning.

Asked about companies such as Google and Facebook that store vast amounts of data of their users, Prasad said they had contributed to India becoming a digital power but “those tech giants should learn to respect the law”.

He said data was collected under Aadhaar but the law prohibited its release to others. This he said, applied equally to banks and telecom companies.

“As the IT minister of the country, I can’t give my data or fingerprint to anyone. Government does not give the right to release data to anyone, except in case of compelling public interest and this compelling public interest shall be affirmed first by the joint secretary home ministry, vetted by a committee of the cabinet secretary, IT secretary and law,” Prasad said.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 23:51 IST