Millennium Post

Citizens’ right to privacy should be protected: Prez

Lauding the role of Right to Information Act in promoting transparency, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday stressed on adequate safeguards to protect the ‘inviolable rights to privacy’ of a citizen.

The President also said government must do everything possible to create ‘an informed citizenry which is vital for the functioning of our democracy’.

‘Our enthusiasm about transparency and democracy should not make us ignore, even for a moment, the fact that the citizen, who is at the heart of all these arrangements is also an individual with certain inviolable rights to privacy,’ Mukherjee said in his speech.

Inaugurating the annual convention of the Central Information Commission, the President said there are provisions in the RTI Act which deal with the issue of privacy but there are still certain areas which need further clarity.

‘There is a wafer thin difference between what is public and what is private...There is perhaps a need to create an arrangement that will provide protection to individuals in case their privacy is breached through unlawful means,’ the President said.

He also emphasised on the need for effectively using information communication technologies for data-keeping which is also mandatory under section four of the RTI Act.

‘With the improvement in data management practices and by computerisation of records and work flow, citizens should be able to locate on their own the status of their requests in the work flow artery of public authorities,’ he said.
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