High Court (India)

June 28, 2019

Madras High Court Allows The Internet Freedom Foundation To Oppose Plea To Link Aadhaar With Social Media Accounts


[ By Bobby Anthony ]

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The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) was allowed by the Madras High Court recently to oppose petitions which had sought directions to link Aadhaar with social media accounts or any other government authorized identity proof to authenticate such accounts.

According to the petitioners, such a linkage would curb the menace created by fake and anonymous profiles.

However, the IFF opposed the interlinking of Aadhaar and social media profiles on the ground that it would result in giving unbridled power to social media companies over the lives of users, resulting in infringement of privacy rights.

Linking Aadhaar with social media profiles would pave way for more surveillance, invasion of privacy and silence the voices of those who use pseudonyms to express dissenting and critical opinions against the government, the IFF stated.

Less restrictive alternatives such as other means of verification, controls by platforms, restrictions on accessing certain types of features and content should be explored before thinking about authentication of profiles through Aadhar, the IFF argued, adding that such a measure is likely to cause more harm than good.

Meanwhile Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and Google told the court that it is impossible for them to monitor all personal content.

Earlier, on April 25, a Division Bench of the Madras High Court comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad had directed the Tamil Nadu government to arrange an interactive session between law enforcement agencies as well as social media intermediaries to discuss means to detect online crimes, besides control cyber abuse and misinformation.

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