PRIVACY IN INTERNET ERA: PRIVATE DATA, BLACKMAILING, REVENGE PORN

CONCEPT OF PRIVACY IN INTERNET ERA: Today in 21st century, we are living in a modern society where all human beings are profiled. It has become a prerequisite, which is acceptable by people to administer the personal information or details of themselves to the proper authority and to believe that they will keep that personal detail by themselves unless there would be any outrageous case in which it has to be used or revealed but with legal justifications only. There are many of the examples in which it is a essential requirement, such as, parents hand over information about their children to government to attain necessary services like heath care, people render their intimate information whenever they sign any form by accepting the fine prints or pressing button which takes their thumb print or finger print. In doing so, people empowers second hand trading of their personal details which they have given , resulting in augmented increase in risk of using that personal data for illegitimate purposes . It has become very often that without consent and awareness, detention devices track movements, preferences, or any personal information of an individual which makes them capable of utilizing it for their own benefits by just having individual’s digital existence. Consequently, that data is used against that individual by manipulating, robbing, engaging in prejudice, etc. PERSONAL DATA: Personal information or data is a data which can be linked or that is linked to individual persons. Examples consisting of  particularly stated characteristics such as individual’s date of birth, sexual preferences, whereabouts, religion and also the data which has not been stated by them i.e. IP address of their computer or metadata pertaining to these kinds of information. Furthermore, personal data can also be implied in the form of behavioural data which is observed through the platform of social media by which individual is linked. Personal data includes the data which is considered as sensitive, important or valuable for some reasons such as secret receipts, financial data, military data etc, and even the data which is required to make all above data to be secured i.e. passwords. MORAL REASONS FOR PROTECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION: · PREVENTION OF HARM: Unrestricted access by others to one’s bank account, social medial account, profile, cloud repositories, characteristics, and whereabouts can be utilized to harm the person pertaining to that data in variety of ways. · INFORMATIONAL DISCRIMINATION AND INJUSTICE:  Personal data provided in specific sphere or context such as health care,   may transform its meaning if used in another sphere or context such as commercial transaction , resulting in discrimination and disadvantages to the individual. · INFRINGEMENT ON MORAL AUTONOMY AND HUMAN DIGNITY: Lack of privacy may expose individuals to outside force which may lead to influence their choices and makes them to take decision which they have not been taken otherwise because they know that others are watching them. This affects their status as autonomous beings and sometimes described as a “chilling effect” on individual and society. BLACKMAIL: Blackmailing is an act of forcing or preventing someone to do or not to do something by using the threat on that person. For Example, demanding nude photos to avoid compromising information released online is something known as INTERNET BLACKMAIL. A lot of Internet Blackmailing starts when a hacker starts taking control over victim’s computer. Then the hacker searches for compromising information which he can use against victim and to control victim’s behaviour, leading to demand of ransom. The attacker often, looks for sexually compromising photography or videos. Even attackers came up with variations in their way of attack, so instead of searching pre-existing compromising information in computers, they have simply started taking control over victim’s webcam and record compromising videos, which leads to using these videos to blackmail the victim. Blackmailing can be done in many spheres such as in business sphere or any other sphere which creates THREAT OF ACTION and THREAT OF DEFAMATION which may ruin individual’s life. Talking about business sphere, the attack can be done in form of “corporate extortion”. Firstly the blackmailer collects sensitive and private information about the selected business, often through hacking or cracking scams. This secret information can extend from clients list to proprietary secrets or anything else that would harm the business financially or in any other way, if made public. Then attacker demands payment to keep the information secret. Moreover, blackmailer might threaten to generate a large number of bad reviews for a business or spread harmful rumours about an individual, resulting in demand of money or may be other favours by blackmailer to prevent himself from smudging the victim’s reputation by false statements. REVENGE PORN: Revenge porn is non-consent or non- consensual distribution or online posting of sexual or intimate material like photographs and videos of a former lover, often with personal information attached to it, with the intention to harm or damage the person portrayed. This crime got its name by gross trend of abandoned lovers or exes, posting pictures of women who broke up with them. Moreover, it also includes pictures leaked by strangers who may have hacked your mobile/ laptop/ cloud storage account. Revenge porn can have immense reverberation for a victim’s relationships, career, mental health. This has came as a new phenomenon in variation for attacking victims leading to blackmailing. In India, It has a long and tricky path for having justice to be served to victims of revenge porn.  As Incidents of revenge porn does not make media headlines frequently, but it is a country where rape videos are spread on sale. Revenge porn is just another option to frighten women and take revenge from women who have deserted them. The legal framework and societal conditioning is yet to convince more women to act against upon it, as there is no specific law for revenge porn in India. The police usually fall back upon the INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000 to file FIRs in revenge porn cases. With respect to the IT act, revenge porn attracts prosecution under Sections 66E, 67, 67A and 72 of the Act. The relevant provisions and what they address are enclosed below: 1. S.66E: Violation of privacy; Producing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form 2. S.67: Publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form 3. S.67A: Publishing electronic material containing sexually explicit act 4. S.72: Breach of confidentiality and privacy Additionally, other laws also have their application in such situations such as Section 4 and 6 of Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, (IRWA) which prevents publishing of photographs (among other things) which contain indecent representation of women. Further additional provisions of various statutes may also be used depending on the facts and circumstances of the given cases. CONCLUSION: Human beings value their privacy and protection to personal sphere or space of their life. They know the amount of value that how much people should know about them. They absolutely do not want their personal information or any personal material to be accessible by anyone, at any time because “PRIVACY IS NOT SOMETHING THAT AN INDIVIDUAL IS MERELY ENTITLED TO, IT’S AN ABSOLUTE PREREQUISITE”. It’s a hope that the current situation of this digital age might improve towards the “RIGHT TO PRIVACY”. As the right to privacy, in digital era demands a united, multinational alliance that will ensure all individuals in the world, share an inalienable right to protect their identities. As we don’t have to prove that “PRIVACY IS DEAD AND SOCIAL MEDIA HOLDS THE SMOKING GUN”. Authored by: Amisha Tandon PIMR College(Department of law)

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