Rights organisation VOICE on Thursday expressed concerns over the violation of rights to privacy and data protection in the emerging digital world dominated by technology.
‘Coercion has taken a new digitalised form in a world dominated by technology. Surveillance has become more prevalent than before and personal information and data have become more exposed to the government as well as to other agencies,’ it said in a release on International Privacy Day observed on Thursday.
VOICE urged the government to formulate a legal framework to protect privacy rights to promote the practice of democracy at large.
‘In recent years there had been rampant violation of this rights…The concerns have remained same over the years,’ said VOICE executive director Ahmed Swapan Mahmud.
Citing a perception study conducted in 2018 in Bangladesh on privacy, VOICE said that 83 per cent of the respondents said they are uncomfortable sharing personal information to others. Around 52 per cent among them felt that sharing information can be unsafe and be used for other purposes.
A huge amount of 40 per cent of them felt that their privacy was breached by mobile companies whereas 80 per cent of them felt that information given for Voter ID card/ National ID may not be protected in a proper way.
The study revealed more than 90 per cent people would prefer to protect their personal data like income and resources. There was a demand for a well-structured privacy commission in order to secure the right to privacy. They expected that the government and other private agencies would require optimum data from individuals.
‘Article 33 (2) (a) of the Constitution establishes ‘the right of every citizen to freedom of speech and expression’. Article 43 promises its citizens ‘the privacy of home and correspondence and communications’. The constitution ensures ‘privacy’ as a basic right under Article number 39 (2) (a) and Article 43,’ VOICE said.