According to Times of India, a trial court in India has ordered a probe against online jobs portal Monster.com for allegedly selling data about its users to a third party.
Chief metropolitan magistrate Naresh Kumar Laka said online companies could not share personal information of users to a third party without their "informed consent." The apex court noted that there is an urgent need to restrain online firms from invading the privacy of individuals.
"At the time of entering personal information or data, job-seekers are not aware that the said data can be sold to any third person or that it can be misused. Accordingly, the said ostensible consent of the said applicant/individual cannot be said to be a free, voluntary or informed consent..." he said.
The SC's nine-judge Constitution bench, while placing the right to privacy within the right to life and liberty, had said online companies had enhanced technology to invade the home and privacy of users and asked the Centre to frame a data security and protection law. Observing that knowledge about a person can give an entity power over an individual, the apex court said personal data collected by companies needed to be regulated.
The SC said such data was capable of affecting representations, influencing decision making and shaping behaviour and could be used as a tool to exercise control over people like the a "big brother" state.'
The CMM referred to the SC verdict while directing police to conduct a probe against the company and nab culprits responsible for selling data to an accused who duped thousands of unemployed people. The court said such fake job rackets are operating across the country and a firm hand is needed to check them.