Data Selling: The Infringement Of Article 21


Data refers to the facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis. In simpler words, data refers to any information that is collected for useful purposes. Clive Humby said, “Data is the new oil”, as an important resource as oil is, there was a time when it was the highest yielding commodity and everyone was in a race to get their hands on it, similarly is data today. Everyone wants to protect their data at any cost and extent, on the other hand, everyone wants to get their hands on the vital data of other organizations.

Data is the foundation stone of every organization. What they do, what they did, how they did and what will they be doing, it’s all in the data. And when something is important and informative, the risk of its being at stake is also the highest.


A data license is a legal instrument that specifies a standard set of terms and conditions regarding sharing and re-use of your research data.” Data is generally stored in the repositories and all repositories have their own rules of licensing. With high risk and such vital information at stake, it becomes very important to get the data licensed. Not just it protects it but also marks your territory to it.

Data licensing not just include data but also includes its provisioning, acquisition, codification, regulations and protocols. Data licensing have distinctive licensing concerns, such as Proprietorship and usage of the data, the handling of source acquisition and usage of statistics.


Data is the personal information of an organization or a body and in order to protect it, various laws have been put into implementation. These laws are made to protect the data and maintain the privacy of organizations engaged with their data. Laws relating to Data Protection are

  • Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act)”

The IT Act provides for the protection of these contraventions with data from the information processing systems. The law incorporates allocation to intercept the unsanctioned use of data, information, and system. The authority of the institution is so far shortened in “Section 79” by incorporating the terms for “information” and “best efforts” in forward to the proportion of penance. Various sections are included in the act to protect the data, such as “Section 43, Section 43A, and Section 72A of the IT Act” which discusses the security of data precisely.

  • The Indian Copyright Act, 1957”

The Indian Copyright Act has provisions for obligatory pursuit for the contravention of the content that is intellectual in nature regarding the gravity of the crime. “Section 63B of the Indian Copyright Act” states that any person or individual who deliberately uses a contravening version of a program on a system shall be confined in jail for the duration, that is a minimum of six months and extending maximum to that of three years.

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860”

Indian Criminal Law does not clearly talk about the privacy of data contraventions. Authorities for such contraventions should be procured from alike wrongs as per the “Indian Penal Code”. E.g., “Section 403 of the Indian Penal Code” inflicts criminal sanctions for wrongfully misusing or altering “movable property” for an individual’s usage.

  • Credit Information Companies Regulation Act, 2005 (CICRA)”

According to the CICRA, credit knowledge about a sole person in India should be acquired in adherence with the security essentials described out in the CICRA Regulation. Institutes assembling and managing storage of the data shall be liable for any modification or embezzlement of any such data.


“Article 21 of The Indian Constitution” states that, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”. The Constitution of India provides the “Right to Privacy” to every individual and this right also safeguards our privacy towards the data. Yet, this is just a preventive measure but still, we hear so much about data theft or data selling which is seriously a punishable offence under the law. When an institute’s data or an individual’s data is sold without their consent, it’s not just a contravention of the fundamental right but also a breach of trust. Data may be any information that needs to be safeguarded and cannot be used without the consent of the person owning it.

Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence nor to attack upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

Gobind v State of M.P

In the case of Gobind v State of M.P., the police’s right to carry out house supervision to contravene the right to privacy as mentioned in “Article 21 of the Indian Constitution” was questioned. The Supreme Court held that the codification of police was not going along the quintessence of one’s freedom and also takes upon the rights to privacy as a fundamental right pledged by the Constitution of India, but also obliged and contradicted the development of the right to privacy on the footing of an individual. The Supreme Court said, “A case-by-case implementation process would in any case inevitably entail the right to privacy. Therefore, we do not find the right to be absolute, even if the right to personal freedom, the right to travel freely on Indian territory, and freedom of speech creates an independent right to privacy as an emanation from these rights, which one can define as a basic right.”


Protection of data is a right provisioned under the fundamental human right of “right to privacy” and operating systems have a lot of vital data stored. The laws relating to the IT and data protection inculcate the duties for the illegal approach to operating systems, computer networks as well as the resources or illegal changes, removal, editing, omission, wrecking, dismantling or transferring of the data for breach of privacy and security. Laws are the way to prevent such events to occur and also hold strict penalties for anyone indulging in such activities.


Aakriti Saini

Chandigarh University

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