Right To Privacy

Back in news: Right to be Forgotten


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Right to be Forgotten

Mains level: Art 21 and its broad aspects

The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 contains provisions related to the ‘right to be forgotten’.

Right to be Forgotten

  • ‘Right to be forgotten’ is a fairly new concept in India where an individual could seek to remove or delete online posts which may contain an embarrassing picture, video or news articles mentioning them.
  • It comes under the right to privacy which has been held to be a fundamental right by the Supreme Court under Article 21.
  • In 2017, the Right to Privacy was declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court in its landmark verdict.

Why in news?

  • The Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 contains provisions related to the doctrine of ‘right to be forgotten’.
  • It highlighted two judgments passed by the Orissa High Court and the Karnataka High Court where they have accepted the doctrine of the ‘right to be forgotten’ as an essential part of the ‘right to privacy’.

Mention in PDP Bill

  • The PDP bill aims to set out provisions meant for the protection of the personal data of individuals.
  • Clause 20 under Chapter V of this bill titled “Rights of Data Principal” mentions the “Right to be Forgotten.”
  • It states that the “data principal (the person to whom the data is related) shall have the right to restrict or prevent the continuing disclosure of his personal data by a data fiduciary”.
  • A data fiduciary means any person, including the State, a company, any juristic entity, or any individual who alone or in conjunction with others determines the purpose and means of the processing of personal data.


  • Under the Right to be forgotten, users can de-link, limit, delete or correct the disclosure of their personal information held by data fiduciaries.

Other similar provisions

  • Section 69A of the IT Act does provide for removal of “certain unlawful information” from an intermediary platform.
  • It primarily applies to ‘national security and public order related issues’ only.

Also read:

Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2021



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