PIL raises concerns over data privacy, sparking #BoycottMakeMyTrip trend

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The hashtag #BoycottMakeMyTrip is making waves on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), as users express their concerns over data privacy and urge others to uninstall the MakeMyTrip app. 

On Social Media Some Users Posted

Simultaneously, another travel website, Goibibo, is also facing backlash, with users calling for its removal amid growing privacy apprehensions.

The uproar stems from a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Delhi High Court, seeking government intervention to ensure data confidentiality for travel companies. Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a BJP leader, filed the plea, alleging that foreign travel companies, including those partially or fully owned by Chinese investors, collect personal data not only from the common man but also from lawmakers, judges, defense personnel, civil servants, and their families.

Despite the petition’s urgency, the Delhi High Court dismissed it today, citing a lack of representation from the Union of India. The court advised the petitioner to address the grievance directly with the government.

The PIL highlights the potential misuse of citizens’ data, particularly Aadhar and passport details, echoing concerns raised in the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in the Justice Puttaswamy Case, which affirmed the right to privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21. 

Furthermore, it references the Data Protection Committee’s recommendations, emphasizing the sensitivity of government-issued identity cards and the need for stringent data protection laws.

Section 3 of the Data Protection and Digital Privacy (DPDP) Act 2023 mandates the application of its provisions to digital data processing, both within and outside India’s territory, if goods or services are offered to Indian data principals. Thus, the petitioner underscores the Centre’s responsibility to demand clarification from travel companies, especially foreign entities, on their data protection measures.

Advocate Upadhyay proposes that the government should obtain written assurances from travel companies, particularly foreign ones, to uphold data confidentiality and comply with the DPDP Act 2023 provisions diligently. As the debate on data privacy intensifies, users on social media are amplifying their voices, urging action to safeguard their personal information from potential breaches.