In India, consumer laws are primarily governed by the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which aims to protect the rights of consumers and ensure fair trade practices. However, specific aspects of consumer laws can also be influenced by state-level regulations and case law precedents.
Regarding the collection of personal information, the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011 under the Information Technology Act, 2000, regulate the collection and use of sensitive personal data, which includes information like mobile numbers. These rules emphasize obtaining consent before collecting such data and specify the purposes for which it can be used.
Under the Consumer Protection Act, consumers have the right to be protected against unfair trade practices. This includes the right to privacy and the right to refuse to provide personal information that is not directly relevant to a transaction. The Act focuses on ensuring that consumers are not subject to unfair, deceptive, or restrictive practices by sellers.
Various judgments by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) and state consumer commissions have reinforced consumer rights related to privacy and protection from unfair trade practices. Cases that involve unauthorized sharing or misuse of personal information without consent have often been ruled in favor of consumers, emphasizing the importance of consent and data protection.
While specific laws and case laws exist to protect consumers' rights to privacy and fair practices, individual circumstances and case specifics can impact how these laws are interpreted and applied.