Historical Analysis of Right to Privacy

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Swati Nair, Crystal Ann George & Nileena Banerjee
Published On: 20/06/2022
Volume: 8
Issue: 3
First Page: 112
Last Page: 126
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Swati Nair, Crystal Ann George & Nileena Banerjee, Historical Analysis of Right to Privacy , Volume 8 Issue 3, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 112-126, Published on 20/06/2022, Available at https://jlsr.thelawbrigade.com/article/historical-analysis-of-right-to-privacy/


This paper aims to trace the journey of right to privacy; from being a no-go area to one of the most controversial topics today. The origin of privacy is deeply embedded in the history of human civilization, characterized specially by the transformation of primitive society to modern society. The concept and definition of privacy has changed over the years owing to different factors. In the Indian context, privacy was never an alien entity; it was an integral part of the deep rooted customs of the rich cultural heritage. While, ,the right to privacy in the U.S.A. in the modern period has been primarily based on the Warren-Brandeis article and the search and seizure cases under Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which finally led to the Privacy Act, 1974. Right to Privacy is a part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty and its violation a matter of concern at the global level. One of the major challenges is that the right to privacy has not been adequately dealt with by the legislation in India or the United States. The current legislations that deal with the protection of the Right to Privacy do not in fact adequately safeguard this right. Assessing the global nature of this issue, it therefore becomes imperative that we deal with this issue transcending geographical boundaries and implement international treaties. Also, considering the fact that we live in an era of information, and not all of the information we have is required to be shared, certain restrictions, protections and safeguards are required to protect such information. As a result, privacy becomes increasingly important in this technologically advanced era of the twenty-first century. The paper attempts to do a comparative study between the privacy laws in the USA and India and critically analyze the grey areas that need to be worked upon. One of the watershed moments in the context of privacy in India was the 2017 Puttaswamy judgment, which declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right. India still lacks a data protection law that would give meaning to the judgment beyond just being on paper. In the era of technology and data driven governance, privacy has been reimagined and relooked at; it is no longer mere physical intrusion into one’s private space rather the invisible threats we face. The concept of privacy has undergone a change world over in the 21st century; it is beyond a man giving a mere isolated life but denotes freedom from unauthorized interference into a person’s private sphere.

Keywords: Right to Privacy, Right to Life, Personal Liberty , Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and European Convention on Human Rights

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