The Fundamental Right to Privacy: an analysis

This series of articles was originally published on the Centre for Internet and Society’s Internet Governance blog.

Last​ ​month’s​ ​judgment​ ​by​ ​the​ ​nine​ ​judge​ ​referral​ ​bench​ ​was​ ​an​ ​emphatic endorsement​ ​of​ ​the​ ​the​ ​constitutional​ ​right​ ​to​ ​privacy.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​course​ ​of​ ​a​ ​547​ ​page judgment,​ ​the​ ​bench​ ​affirmed​ ​the​ ​fundamental​ ​nature​ ​of​ ​the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​privacy reading​ ​it​ ​into​ ​the​ ​values​ ​of​ ​dignity​ ​and​ ​liberty.​ In the course of a few short papers, we will dissect the various aspects of the right to privacy as put forth by the nine judge constitutional bench in the Puttaswamy matter. The papers will focus on the sources, structure, scope, breadth, and future of privacy. Here are the first three papers, authored by Amber Sinha and edited by Elonnai Hickok.

The​ ​Fundamental​ ​Right​ ​to​ ​Privacy – Part​ ​I:​ ​Sources

Much​ ​of​ ​the​ ​debate​ ​and​ ​discussion​ ​in​ ​the​ ​hearings​ ​before​ ​the​ ​constitutional​ ​bench was​ ​regarding​ ​where​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Constitution​ ​a​ ​right​ ​to​ ​privacy​ ​may​ ​be​ ​located.​ In​ ​this paper,​ ​we​ ​analyse​ ​the​ ​different​ ​provisions​ ​and​ ​tools​ ​of​ ​interpretations​ ​use​ ​by​ ​the bench​ ​to​ ​read​ ​a​ ​right​ ​to​ ​privacy​ ​in​ ​Part​ ​III​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Constitution. Read the PDF.

The​ ​Fundamental​ ​Right​ ​to​ ​Privacy – ​Part​ ​II:​ Structure

​In​ ​the​ ​previous​ ​paper,​ ​we delved​ ​into​ ​the​ ​ ​sources​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Constitution​ ​and​ ​the​ ​interpretive​ ​tools​ ​used​ ​to​ ​locate the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​privacy​ ​as​ ​a​ ​constitutional​ ​right.​ ​This​ ​paper​ ​follows​ ​it​ ​up​ ​with​ ​an​ ​analysis of​ ​the​ ​structure​ ​of​ ​the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​privacy​ ​as​ ​articulated​ ​by​ ​the​ ​bench.​ ​We​ ​will​ ​look​ ​at​ ​the various​ ​facets​ ​of​ ​privacy​ ​which​ ​form​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​fundamental​ ​right,​ ​the​ ​basis​ ​for such​ ​dimensions​ ​and​ ​what​ ​their​ ​implications​ ​may​ ​be. Read the PDF.

The​ ​Fundamental​ ​Right​ ​to​ ​Privacy – Part​ ​III:​ Scope

While the previous papers dealt with the sources in the Constitution and the interpretive tools used by the bench to locate the right to privacy as a constitutional right, as well as the structure of the right with its various dimensions, this paper will look at the judgment for guidance on principles to determine what the scope of the right of privacy may be. Read the PDF.

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