Menaka Rao reports:
The Silent Observer, the innovative software that is supposed to have helped stem the menace of sex-selective abortions at Kolhapur, violates the right to privacy, said Dr Sanjiv Mani, the joint secretary of Maharashtra State Branch of Indian Radiology and Imaging Association (MSBIRIA).
“We are absolutely against female foeticide. But this method, which is nothing more than a video recording, is not going to help. The problem is the issue of privacy. Imagine a case where a celebrity, or an industrialist held ransom by a third party with their private information,” asked Dr Mani.
Apart from sonography in cases of pregnant women, it is used for other reasons too. “If a man is impotent, would he like the information being leaked out. Besides, no consent is taken from the patient. In Kolhpur, images of the scans of lakhs of patients have been stored with the government,” said Dr Mani. He added that the under section 72 of Information Technology Act, there is a penalty of two years imprisonment for breach of privacy and confidentiality.
Read more on Daily News & Analysis.
The idea of government storing such sensitive personal information is scary.
Because I had not heard about this program before today, I started looking at some other coverage on it. A BBC article from September 2010 provides some of the background. A slideshow about the system by its manufacturer, Sukrut Systems, is available on Slideshare.