Communication - the essential aspect of human life coupled with the innovative technology has lead to the development of numerous modes of connecting channels allowing the persons separated by vast distances to interact with another. The onset of digitalization by the proliferation of internet has permitted people to explore the cyber-space for meeting various requirements of day to day life. A number of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. have cropped up which not only allow their users to share their thoughts, ideas, pictures, videos, etc. on the virtual world but also send messages to each other thus serving as a platform for social networking.


One of the leading and most popular social media engine is Facebook which allows the users to create a registered profile on the website for the purpose of social networking. Accessible from various internet based electronic devices such as desktops, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.

The users of this media can share their personal details, photographs, videos, information, viewpoints, while remaining connected with their friends around the world using the platform being offered sending them messages.

The Hacking menace

While the increasing accessibility to the technology has been a boon for civilization, it comes with its negative consequences as well. Nefarious elements of the society indulge in criminal activities such as spreading of false information, sending offensive messages, identity theft, cheating by impersonation, stalking, harassment by threats, cyberbullying, fraud, illegal transaction, cyber-terrorism, violation of privacy, publishing or transmitting obscene material, etc.

Facebook, on September 28, 2018, disclosed a security breach affecting nearly 50 million user accounts.1 It was informed that the hackers exploited its "View As" feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to someone else and has claimed to have taken steps to fix the security problem and alerted law enforcement.

Requirement of stringent norms

The Government has made consistent efforts towards the protection of personal and sensitive data of the users of the online media by the enforcement of the Information and Technology Act, 2000 (hereinafter referred to as the "I.T. Act"). The provisions of the I.T. Act provide punishment to the cyber-crimes including hacking, impersonation, etc. with imprisonment as well as fine.

In the furtherance to the strengthening of its data safety regime, the Government plans to introduce Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 working for the security of the cyber-world users.

Facebook was ordered by the Government to quantify the impact on its users in India after hackers breached as many as 50 million accounts of the social network and third-party net-based applications linked to those.2

The Right to privacy as provided under the Article 21- Right to Life of the Constitution of India has been a source of major concern for the governing authorities. Judicial and regulatory authorities are aiming to build a healthy cyber-space for India free from any unfair and illegal activities.3

The social network giant is already facing the setback from previous data disclosure incidents involving major industrial players such as Cambridge Analytica, Huawei, Lenovo and Oppo challenging its credibility in the Indian market which offers a large number of users for it.

Further, the Government has instructed Facebook owned WhatsApp to devise stringent strategies to trace the origins of incendiary messages in circulation using technological innovations when the social media giant resisted to determine the message source on account being violative of its privacy policy. However, as a measure to prevent sharing of rumours or unadvisable information, WhatsApp has capped the number of recipients of chat message to 5 to curb mass spamming.4

With the raise in the invasion of privacy of the citizens of the country jeopardizing their interests, there has arisen a need for stricter norms controlling the menace created by cybercrimes and the Government has been devising measures for the same.


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