Updated: February 6, 2020 7:43:00 am
The government has no proposal to link social media profiles of users to their respective Aadhaar numbers, the Minister for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Lok Sabha Wednesday.
“There is no proposal with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to link social media profiles of users with their Aadhaar number” Prasad told the lower house in a written reply. The issue of whether Aadhaar numbers of individuals should be linked to social media profiles is also currently pending in litigation before the Supreme Court (SC). In October last year, the top court had transferred all such cases, pending before various high courts, to itself.
The MeitY had then in its affidavit said that though technology had led to economic growth and societal development, it had also been a medium for “exponential rise in hate speech, fake news, public order, anti-national activities, defamatory postings, and other unlawful activities using internet/social media platforms”. The ministry had sought time till January 15, 2020 from the SC to finalise on the various suggestions it had received from various stakeholders on the issue.
One of the first cases in the issue was filed before the Madras High Court as early as July 2018. The petitioner had approached the high court with a plea that government to mandatorily Aadhaar or any other government authorised identity proof for authentication of social media profiles of individuals.
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The Tamil Nadu government had then supported the idea, and said that the move could help check terror messages, pornographic material, and even fake news. Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and other social media companies had, however, opposed this proposal, and said that such a move would hamper the privacy of their users.
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