Privacy Law in India: A Muddled Field

[Abstract] Privacy evades definition and for this reason sits uneasily with law. The multiplicity of everyday privacy claims, and the diversity of their situations, obviates attempts to forge a common definition of privacy. Instead, privacy is negotiated contextually. Privacy is easily recognised in relation to the body; common law protects against bodily violations through punitive sanction. Some communications, such as phone calls and emails, are protected by surveillance laws. Territorial privacy is protected by the law of trespass. Locational privacy is invaded by stalking and police ‘shadowing’. Similarly, other forms of human activity are dissimilarly protected. The constitutional right to privacy, as it is developing in India, implicates only a few of these privacy norms.