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HC asks a petitioner to give its representation to Centre for ensuring that travel cos keep consumers data confidential

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked a petitioner to give its representation to the Central government for ensuring that travel companies particularly “foreign-owned” online portals like MakeMyTrip, GoIbibo, and SkyScanner, keep personal data of consumers confidential while booking tickets.

A Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora while rejecting the Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay’s plea gave liberty to him to approach the Centre. “If a representation is filed, it should be decided by way of a reasoned order in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible,” the HC said.

Upadhyay’s claimed that there are at least three travel companies–MakeMyTrip, GoIbibo, and SkyScanner–which operate in India but are partially or fully owned by foreign investors, including Chinese nationals. The petitioner said he was worried about the potential misuse of a citizen’s data, especially the Aadhaar number and passport details. All three companies have Chinese investors and their parent company is Trip.com, the petition stated.

He further said that the apex court has held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution and even the data protection. committee has suggested that government-issued identity cards were sensitive personal data and their processing should require stringent laws.

Citing Section 3 of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023, Upadhyay said that the provision shall apply to the processing of digital data inside and outside the territory of India if goods or services are offered to the data principal within the territory of India. Therefore, it is the Centre’s duty to seek clarification from such travel companies, particularly the “foreign companies”, on data protection measures, he argued.

Source: Economic Times

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