Supreme Court agrees to hear Facebook’s plea of linking user accounts with Aadhaar

by August 20, 2019 0 comments

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Facebook’s plea for transfer of all the three cases from High Courts that demands social media accounts of users should be linked with Aadhaar numbers. The apex court order came after Facebook submitted a plea saying that transferring cases would avoid the possibility of conflicting decision from High Courts and would serve justice.

Two petitions for linking accounts with Aadhaar have been filed in the Madras High Court and one each in the Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Courts. All the pleas have asked High Courts that a government id should be made necessary to authenticate social media accounts.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal representing Tamil Nadu government has said that linking the two will help curb fake news and other defamatory articles. He further cited incidents of online games like Blue Whale that have caused plenty of deaths in India, adding that sharing of information by social media sites would help police resolve crimes.

The Tamil Nadu government faced resistance from Facebook on the ground that sharing the Aadhaar number of users would violate user’s privacy.

According to Venugopal, while Facebook claims that its WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, however, an IIT professor has claimed that the originator of a message can be traced.

‘Different High Courts are making various observations and it will be better if all these cases are transferred to the Supreme Court, as all these PILs case have more or less same prayers,’ Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Facebook has said.

Rohatgi further cited that the Tamil Nadu police is claiming that Aadhaar number should be made mandatory to link social media accounts of users.

‘They cannot tell us, how to run our platforms. We have end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp and even we don’t have access to the content. How can we tell them what is the Aadhaar number? We also have to take care of the privacy of the users,’ added Rohatgi.

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