Aadhaar Case: Apple Gets Your Personal Data, Why Not The State, Asks Supreme Court

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July 20, 2017

New Delhi: While hearing a challenge to the government's massive biometric or "Aadhaar" database, the Supreme Court today said that companies like Apple already have access to the personal data of users.

July 20, 2017

New Delhi: While hearing a challenge to the government's massive biometric or "Aadhaar" database, the Supreme Court today said that companies like Apple already have access to the personal data of users.

"When one can share personal data with private players like Apple, why not share with it with the government? What's the difference?" asked Justice DY Chandrachud, one of nine judges determining if citizens' privacy is a constitutional right.

"99% of the people are unconcerned and not aware of the purpose for which data is collected," he said. As examples, the judge said iPhones and iPads are accessed by users' thumbprints and if an individual books a train ticket, emails or ads pop up offering alternative flights for the same travel. 

He said this proves that citizens are already disclosing vast amounts of information online about their private habits and personal lives.

"I have a contract with private parties – if they breach it, I can sue them. But there is no contract with the government," argued Sajan Poovayya, the lawyer for the petitioners.

The hearing on the right to privacy began yesterday as a group of petitioners brought the case to protest against the government's Aadhaar programme, which has recorded the fingerprints and iris scans of more than a billion citizens.

They argue that although the right to privacy is not explicitly set out in India's constitution, it nevertheless guarantees it implicitly. Yesterday, the court observed that the right to privacy is not absolute, and said the legislature cannot be stopped from "imposing reasonable restrictions."

"Our constitution gives us liberty to live life," Gopal Subramanium, a senior lawyer for the petitioners, argued before the court yesterday.


Courer/Source: NDTV

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