Indian Supreme Court in landmark privacy ruling
24 August 2017 12:38 GMT

India's Supreme Court has ruled that privacy is part of the fundamental right to life and liberty guaranteed under the country’s constitution, with potential consequences for the nation's biometric programme.

The ruling follows a referral from a smaller panel hearing a challenge to India’s biometric identity program, Aadhaar.

Analysts say it also will impact the workings of a host of global corporations in India such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google search engine, Facebook Inc.’s social network and its WhatsApp messaging platform as well as technology companies like Apple Inc. and Uber Inc., which deal with the data of individual users on a day-to-day basis.

Privacy advocates have said Aadhaar is can cause breaches of individual and personal data and hence susceptible to misused by companies.

"Welcome the SC verdict upholding #RightToPrivacy as an intrinsic part of individual's liberty, freedom & dignity. A victory for every Indian," tweeted the Office of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-president.  He said it is a "major blow to fascist forces".

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said "the government welcomes privacy ruling passed by the Supreme Court" and the government has accepted the principles of the judgement.

He scoffed at the Congress vice-president for calling them "fascist" without homework like always, and said cyber and data security are being taken care of.