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Objectionable images of rape victims on social media: Orissa HC makes a case for the right to be forgotten

The Orissa High Court on Monday emphasised the need to recognise the right to be forgotten, noting that the presence of objectionable images and videos of rape victims on social media is a violation of their right to privacy. The High Court was hearing the bail application of a man accused of raping a woman, capturing her intimate pictures, and later uploading those on Facebook. LiveLaw first reported this. The court said that currently, there is no mechanism for a victim to be able to get their objectionable photographs deleted from social media platforms like Facebook. “The different types of harassment, threats and assaults that frighten citizens in regard to their online presence pose serious concerns for citizens,” it added. “In most of the cases, like the present one, the women are the victims. It is their right to enforce the right to be forgotten as a right in rem,” the court held. “Presently, there is no statute in India which provides for the right to be forgotten/getting the photos erased from the server of the social media platforms permanently”, the court held, and said that this right is in sync with the right to privacy. The court held that while a person can be penalised for uploading someone’s sensitive pictures on social media, issues related to their right to privacy will remain unresolved. It then added: “If the right to be forgotten is not recognized in matters like the present one, any accused will surreptitiously outrage the modesty of…

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