India’s Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right because it is “an intrinsic part of right to life.” The landmark 547-page judgment overrules two prior India Supreme Court decisions from 1954 and 1962. The case involves challenges to India’s biometric-based identification number system (the “Adhaar scheme”), which was purportedly designed to increase social inclusion and improve the accessibility of government services. The system is mandatory for certain government services, which raised privacy concerns. The Adhaar scheme will now be further reviewed, and the decision may have broader impacts as well, beyond the particular facts in the case.
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Prepared by Mirjam Supponen (CIPP/E & CIPP/US) under the supervision of GTC Member Sayoko Blodgett-Ford (CIPP/US). Mirjam is admitted to practice in Texas. Sayoko is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Hawaii and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This Update discusses certain legal and related developments and should not be relied upon as legal advice, or as legal guidance for particular circumstances. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone.