Call for Submission on ‘The Right to Privacy and the Legality of Surveillance’ | RGNUL.

About the Organization

RGNUL Student Research Review” (formerly known as RGNUL Student Law Review) is a bi-annual, student run, peer reviewed, flagship publication of RGNUL, Punjab. It has been founded with the objective of facilitating arguments in black and white. Legal research Skills form the core of the learning process in any dimension of law.


The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is a non-profit organisation that undertakes interdisciplinary research on internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. The areas of focus include digital accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge, intellectual property rights, openness (including open data, free and open source software, open standards, open access, open educational resources, and open video), internet governance, telecommunication reform, digital privacy, and cyber-security. The research at CIS seeks to understand the reconfiguration of social processes and structures through the internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. Through its diverse initiatives, CIS explores, intervenes in, and advances contemporary discourse and regulatory practices around internet, technology, and society in India, and elsewhere.


In the age of digitalisation and the internet, issues of data protection and privacy have come to the forefront. Discourse and jurisprudence on the right to privacy have been evolving with time, with developments and rapid advancements in technology constantly posing new privacy concerns. A landmark moment came in 2017, with the decision of a nine judge bench in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, which led to the right to privacy being declared a fundamental right. Subsequently, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, intended to protect the personal data of individuals, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2019. The Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is reportedly considering including the protection of non-personal data within the ambit of the Bill. The report of the Committee is expected to be presented to the Parliament during the 2021 Winter Session. A new draft of the 2019 Bill is expected to be presented before the Parliament soon.

Privacy concerns have once again been in the limelight recently after reports alleged that the Pegasus software was being used to spy on hundreds of people all over the world including numerous in India. The Supreme Court of India, while ordering an independent probe into the allegations, noted that surveillance infringes on the right to privacy of an individual. One of the most important questions presented here was where does an individual’s right to privacy lie in the larger context of national security. Social media is currently considered as one of the biggest threats to individual privacy. Actions of social media giants recently have highlighted these issues. Facebook’s name change to “Meta” has brought the concept of a shared virtual space called the “Metaverse” to the forefront, which is expected to operate parallel to the real world. Such a world would require huge amounts of data for its operation, giving rise to issues related to users’ personal data and privacy rights. Earlier this year, WhatsApp launched its new privacy policy which raised concerns regarding the ability of social media companies to collect and misuse user data in the garb of user consent even though no real choice has been provided to users. This blog series aims to critically analyse the legal and regulatory framework surrounding the right to privacy and the legality of surveillance. We welcome submissions from legal practitioners, academicians, students, and members of the legal fraternity.

Suggested Sub-themes These sub themes are merely illustrative. Submissions need not be restricted to this list, as long as they fall within the ambit of the main theme.

1. Privacy and data protection in a pandemic

2. Benefits vs harms of processing medical and health data

3. The proportionality test: treading the line between national security and the individual right to privacy

4. Privacy and AI

5. Data for good and the commodification of individual data

6. Social Media and Privacy

7. Need for reform in the laws regulating surveillance in India

8. The growth of biometric data collection and surveillance

9. Comparative Analysis with international standard

The submission deadline is 15 January 2022.

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All efforts are made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published at Legally Flawless. However, Legally Flawless shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to oversight or otherwise. The students are advised to check an opportunity themselves before applying.

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