Voice transcripts/CDR of a subscriber fall under the category of personal information

Central Information Commission (CIC): “Voice transcripts/CDR of a subscriber fall under the category of personal information and cannot be disclosed to third party,” observed CIC while rejecting an appeal filed by a person who sought call details of his BSNL post paid mobile for a particular period. Earlier, the appellant approached CPIO, BSNL stating that he wants the voice transcripts of his mobile no.944***259 for the period 20/02/2014 to 31/03/2014. The appellant pointed out that his brother-in-law is using the said mobile phone for the last five years and as certain miscreants in collusion with the police were trying to take over his properties, he is entitled to the information. The CPIO stated that as per their records the mobile telephone was registered in the name of his brother-in-law and not the appellant. CPIO further submitted that the information was personal in nature and cannot be disclosed being exempted under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. Before Commission, it was submitted by CPIO that voice transcript/CDR of a subscriber cannot be furnished to third party as it would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the subscriber. While concurring with the viewpoint of CPIO, the Commission noted that voice transcripts/CDR of a subscriber fall under the category of personal information and cannot be disclosed to third party being exempted under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act unless the seeker of information is able to show larger public interest to justify the disclosure. “In the matter at hand the appellant has not succeeded in establishing that the information sought is for larger public purpose. It being so, there is no need to interfere with the respondent’s decision,” observed CIC while closing the matter. [S. Sathiya Narayanan v. BSNL, 2015 SCC OnLine CIC 12992, decided on October 27, 2015]

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