[First published in the Economic & Political Weekly on 30 May 2015 here]
Because privacy enjoys an abundance of meanings, it is claimed in diverse situations every day by everyone against other people, society, and the state. Traditionally traced to classical liberalism’s public/private divide, there are now several theoretical conceptions of privacy that collaborate and sometimes contend. Indian privacy law is evolving in response to four types of privacy claims: against the press, against state surveillance, for decisional autonomy, and in relation to personal information. The Indian Supreme Court has selectively borrowed competing foreign privacy norms, primarily American, to create an unconvincing pastiche of privacy law in India. These developments are undermined by a lack of theoretical clarity and the continuing tension between individual freedoms and communitarian values.
Also available to download as a PDF on this website here.
Recommended citation – Acharya, Bhairav (2015): “The Four Parts of Privacy in India”, Economic & Political Weekly, 50(22), 30 May 2015.