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Showing results for tags 'right to privacy act india'.
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rtiindia posted a post in DG ITOn a second appeal hearing filed in reference to leakages of Confidential Data filed by the Tax Payer, it was observed that maintaining the privacy, the record keeping in the public authority as explained by the Income Tax Department was in an outdated format and not upgraded utilizing the modern technological tools. Commission after considering the gravity and seriousness of the issues raised by the Appellant, found that there is an emergent requirement to investigate the root cause of the leakages of Confidential Data filed by the Tax Payers and plug the loopholes forthwith. The commission asked Pr. CCIT to investigate the matter considering that it is essential to protect the Confidential Financial Data filed by millions of Tax Payers from falling into wrong hands in the larger public interest. Income Tax records are in outdated format The Appellant Mr. Badal Satapathy stated during the hearing that his income tax returns for several years were provided to the Third Party without his consent. It was submitted that he had brought to the notice of the Income Tax Department by submitting documentary evidence about few serious threats/ loopholes in their computerized data storage system, leveraging which few scrupulous employees of the department were selling highly confidential financial data of Indian Citizens/ Tax Payers to third parties without the knowledge of the tax payer or any Court Orders. The decision can be downloaded here: Badal Satapathy-Income-tax-rti For any queries relating to Right to Information, kindly visit our forums.
rtiindia posted a post in CIC DecisionsIn an unprecedented decision, CIC imposed a penalty over RTI Applicant even though the RTI Act do not provide for the same. Central Information Commission while deciding the case recorded that "Though the RTI Act has not provided to impose penalty against the RTI applicant, the Commission record its contempt against RTI Applicant for misusing the RTI Act against the school child and imposed a penalty of Re. 10/ which is to be paid to the Principal of the School". Commission, also directed the then CPIO and the Principal of the School to show cause why maximum penalty should not be imposed on both of them and disciplinary action be initiated against both of them for not complying with the provision of Section 11 of RTI Act and causing breach of the privacy of the child and his parents. The Commission directs the Principal and CPIO to show cause why compensation of Rs 1000 each be paid to the child for the loss they caused by breaching his privacy. The Commission holds that information exempted under section 8(1)(j) was disclosed and because of which the right to privacy of the child and his parents was violated by the Principal and CPIO. The Commission directs the CPIO and Principal not to disclose the personal information of the students to any person, much less to his so called relatives without following the procedure under Section 11 of the RTI Act. CIC imposed penalty over both PIO and RTI Applicant Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of R.K Jain vs. Union of India [sLP © No.22609 of 2012] dated 16.04.2013 had Highlighted the importance of Section 11 of the RTI Act. Read more about Privacy under RTI Act here: What is Privacy under RTI Act. You can download the decision here: Lalit Kapur v. PIO, Deputy Director of Education (North EastB) Appellant had sought for information regarding a student of R.D Public School. He wanted copy of the transfer certificate of class XI on the basis of which the student got admission in class XII, details of the school no./roll no./school registration no. and date of admission of the school etc CIC noted that it is interrogative in nature and RTI Applicant is fishing to find basis to embarrass the child or his family not with a good motive and for some unspecified purpose, which is certainly not ‘public purpose’. The CPIO committed breach of S 11 of RTI Act and ignored the order of Supreme Court of India in the above mentioned case. The CPIO should have considered the question of welfare of the child from the relatives who were in family dispute with the parents of the child.
If RTI is a common man tool, there are always Risk of RTI too. Information which was clearly in the nature of personal information relating to the Passport of a lady got disclosed to a third party. The lady rightly got aggrieved because of this decision of the CPIO which resulted in Loss of Privacy due to RTI. Her husband was living in Canada since 7 September 2011 while his brother lived here in India. She alleged that the brother living in India had applied for information by faking the signature of her husband and the passport office had issued a notice to her under section 11 of the RTI Act before disclosing the information. She had objected to the disclosure but, in spite of that, the CPIO went ahead and disclosed not only the fact that her passport had been impounded but also some other personal details, like the copy of her schools certificate. The CIC also got concerned with this Risk of RTI. After hearing CIC recorded that "we find the decision of the CPIO highly problematic. Very rightly, he had issued a notice under section 11 when he received the application seeking details about the Appellant's passport. After he received the objection from the Appellant, he did not take it into account before finally deciding to disclose the information. As a result, some information which is clearly in the nature of personal information relating to the Appellant got disclosed to a third party. The Appellant is rightly aggrieved because of this decision of the CPIO." Risk of RTI "We think that the CPIO must show cause why we should not impose penalty on him for this indiscreet act in terms of the provisions of subsection 1 of section 20 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Therefore, we direct the CPIO concerned to appear before us in the next date of hearing on 26 August 2013 at 11.30 a.m. and show cause for his decision resulting in the disclosure of third party information. We will decide on the penalty only after hearing his explanation." In our earlier article: RTI and Privacy- Are they two sides of the same coin? CPIO’s must deal with numerous issues: Should officers names and other details be considered private? Is information in public registers and muster rolls available for any use? Are court and criminal records public? Personal life—Information relating solely to a public employee’s personal life rather than to his or her public actions is one such place of RTI and Privacy come in conflict. There is also significant agreement that information about elected or high-rank public officials is less restricted, even when it relates to their personal lives. Governments and private organizations that collect information related to government services and obligations (including Income tax,medical details, criminal records (NCRB), and citizenship records (UIDIA, National Population Register) and identification technologies (including identity card systems,fingerprints, IRIS Scan, Video survullence) have quickly evolved and expanded. New communications technologies create and collect substantial records about individuals in the process of providing communications. Services run by governments and private operators collect information about individuals, including emails, records of persons communicated with, lists of Web sites visited,and mobile locations. And, of course, people share information through social networking sites. Here are the participating discussions at our forums: Click Here!
rtiindia posted a post in Section 25The commission has not allowed joint inspection of properties under MCD by using RTI Act provisions where the contention of inspection was to expose unauthorised construction in the larger public interest and that it's an exercise to disclose conspiracy between the Officers of MCD and constructers. Inspection of the ‘information’ would certainly not include private ‘house property’ as it would lead to interpretation of section 2 (f) and 2 (j) in too liberal a fashion. It is only the report/document/sample generated after inspection and which is within the domain of the public authority that can be accessed under the provisions of the RTI Act. ‘Any material in any form’ may not be equated with the term ‘material in ANY FORM’ as such comparison is odious and evidently overreaches the legislative intent. Secondly, Inspection of the properties would certainly attract Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act as it would invade the privacy of the owner/occupant(s) of the said property which is a Fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India unauthorised construction in MCD The RTI Applicant has insisted that the Commission under Section 25 (5) of the RTI Act may direct the MCD to allow joint inspection with the MCD Officials of properties which have illegally constructed their houses. Pursuant to the Commission’s Orders dated 27 August 2013, and 30 October 2013, a full bench of the Commission had been constituted in this cases. Matter was heard on 21 November 2013. The commission noted that there are two issues involved in the present case: Whether the Central Information Commission (hereinafter “Commission”) has the ‘power to direct’ the Public Authority i.e. Municipal Corporation of Delhi (hereinafter “MCD”) to allow inspection of the Private/Third Party properties to the Appellant-in person along with technical staff/Engineers of the MCD under the RTI Act, 2005 or the DMC Act. The second issue before the Commission is (in case the Commission has the power to direct the said ‘inspection of the properties’) whether such inspection would invade the privacy of the individual owner and/or occupant of the said property and would hence attract Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Commission Decision: The powers of the Commission under Section 18 of the RTI Act specifically allow the CIC to inquire into any complaint filed by the RTI Applicant. The said section further allows the CIC to initiate an enquiry into the matter, if required which includes summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons, receiving evidence on affidavit, inspection of documents, etc. However, CIC does not have any power under Section 18 of the Act to allow Joint inspection of third party property to a RTI Applicant. Section 18 further does not grant power to the CIC to disclose any information to the RTI Applicant. Inspection’ does not have any relationship to any Public Activity or interest specially in the presence of alternate mechanism to carry out such inspection by the MCD officials as per the Provisions of the DMC Act. On the contrary, allowing such inspection of the personal property to ‘third party’ under the RTI Act may inculcate the ‘misuse’ of this privileged transparency right which will not be in the larger public interest. Appeal No: CIC/DS/A/2012/002173, CIC/DS/A/2012/002176 and CIC/DS/A/2012/002184 Appellant : Shri A.D. Sharma Public Authority : Municipal Corporation Delhi Date of Hearing : 21.11.2013 Date of Decision : 17.12.2013 Smt. Deepak Sandhu Chief Information Commissioner Shri Basant Seth & Shri Rajiv Mathur Information Commissioners Decision of the CIC: http://rti.cc/property
rtiindia posted a post in RTI Act 2005[caption id=attachment_218" align="alignright" width="300] RTI and Privacy[/caption] RTI and Privacy, the right of access to information and the right to protection of personal privacy are irreconcilable. Right to information (RTI) laws provide a fundamental right for any person to access information held by government organisations. At the same time, right to privacy laws grant individuals a fundamental right to control the collection of,access to, and use of personal information about them that is held by governments and private bodies. However, the reality is more complex. Privacy and RTI are often described as “two sides of the same coin” — mainly acting as complementary rights that promote individuals’ rights to protect themselves and to promote government accountability. On one hand under RTI Act the collection of information by governments is done on behalf of its citizens, and the public is only truly able to participate in the democratic process when it has information about the activities and policies of the government. A right of an individual, organization, to demand information from public bodies, without having to show a legal interest in that information is the essence of RTI Act 2005. On the other hand Privacy is considered essential in protecting an individual’s ability to develop ideas and personal relationships. Although it is often summarized as “the right to be left alone,” it encompasses a wide range of rights—including protection from intrusions into family and home life and communications secrecy. Governments and private organizations that collect information related to government services and obligations (including Income tax,medical details, criminal records (NCRB), and citizenship records (UIDIA, National Population Register) and identification technologies (including identity card systems,fingerprints, IRIS Scan, Video survullence) have quickly evolved and expanded. New communications technologies create and collect substantial records about individuals in the process of providing communications. Services run by governments and private operators collect information about individuals, including emails, records of persons communicated with, lists of Web sites visited,and mobile locations. And, of course, people share information through social networking sites. There are many applications called as Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) which are used by many companies and Government to collect citizen information. All of these have led to concerns about abuses,including misuse of information for unlawful purposes and identity theft. Government of India is in process of bringing in legislation under Right to Privacy. We have already started our website to address this important issue, and shall be populated in due course of time. Please check the beta version here! Privacy is increasingly being challenged by new technologies and practices.The technologies facilitate the growing collection and sharing of personal information. Sensitive personal data (including biometrics) are now collected and used routinely by organisations such as UIADI e.t.c. Public records are being disclosed over the Internet from the social networking sites. Availability of Government information, RTI Act, and judicial decisions have led to many thoughts about rules governing access to personal information that is held by public bodies. It is here the two Rights 'RTI and Privacy' comes very very close. RTI and Privacy Laws can both complement and conflict with each other,depending on the situation. RTI and Privacy In India right now there is no general privacy law giving individuals a right of access to their own records,the RTI laws are the only means to access personal records. RTI Act 2005 are regularly used by us for the poor to obtain records on distribution of food subsidies to show that individuals’ names have been forged and records have been falsified. Thus in many cases, RTI and Privacy can overlap in a complementary manner. Both RTI and Privacy can provide an individual access to his or her own personal information from government bodies, and privacy laws shall allow for access to personal information held by private entities.They also can mutually enhance each other: privacy laws are used to obtain policy information in the absence of an RTI law, and RTI laws are used to enhance privacy by revealing abuses. Governments collect large amounts of personal information,and sometimes there is a demand to access that information for various reasons.The requestors include journalists investigating stories, Activist groups fighting for transparency and accountability, individuals demanding to know why a decision was made in a certain way, companies seeking information for marketing purposes, and activists and scholars researching recent and not-so-recent events. RTI Act 2005 Section 8 j provides for the RTI and Privacy details: j. information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. CPIO's must deal with numerous issues: Should officers names and other details be considered private? Is information in public registers and muster rolls available for any use? Are court and criminal records public? Personal life—Information relating solely to a public employee’s personal life rather than to his or her public actions is one such place of RTI and Privacy come in conflict. There is also significant agreement that information about elected or high-rank public officials is less restricted, even when it relates to their personal lives. However, in India there is a strong attempt by Political parties to exempt themselves from RTI Act. Read our Blog here! Other such materials are includes great amounts of Government bureaucratic records with information that most people consider sensitive—such as records relating to citizen’s interactions with government bodies for taxation and to their health care. An increasing controversy relates to access to information in public registers,such as birth, marriage,and death registers; electoral registers; land records; lists of license holders; and other similar records. In many countries, there has been along history of public access to these records. However, concern over their use for commercial purposes, for stalking, and for other reasons not related to their original purposes is a potential threat as the information have been digitized and made available over the Internet. Are we prepared to face that? On the other hand, the misuse of privacy exemptions under section 8 j, often leads to needless conflict between the media and privacy protectors as the media and activist comes to believe that any privacy law is an attempt to hide government activities. In this light, a food for thought is to have a single law for both RTI and Privacy. This shall have a limiting conflict and establishing a balance. However, this possibility is remote in India as we have already adopted RTI Act 2005. Therefore, the new Law 'Right to Privacy Act' adopted in a way that ensures the greatest harmony between the operations of the two laws RTI and Privacy. If the goal of harmony is ignored at the outset,the laws will conflict and further Parliamentary legislative efforts will be required later. The article is written by taking major reference from the World Bank study available here!