The ongoing controversy of “Preventing Fake News” has now taken an interesting turn with the Supreme Court directing the Government to file an affidavit within 3 weeks on how it proposes to link Aadhaar to the social media accounts as being discussed in the Madras High Court in a petition. The Supreme Court has acknowledged the misuse of social media and the adverse impact it has on the society and National Security.
In the past, when the Government came out with guidelines on “Intermediary Guidelines” as well as any other case involving the key word “Aadhaar”, the Supreme Court came down heavily against the Government as if it is selling out the Privacy Right of the Indian Citizens. The Privacy activists who want to oppose anything the Government does supported by the Congress advocates took the cases to the Supreme Court and prevented any action to be taken by the Government. But for this negative strategies pursued by some activists and supported by the Supreme Court, there would have been a strong “Intermediary Guidelines under Section 79 of ITA 2000” by this time.
Now the bench of the Supreme Court which has provided the current ruling appears to be very reasonable in acknowledging that neither the Supreme Court nor the High Courts are competent enough to take a final view on this techno legal matter and the Government is perhaps in a relatively better position to come up with a suggested solution.
The problem with the Government is that it does not have adequate mechanism to respond to such needs since it has killed the “Cyber Advisory Committee” which was mandatory for such purposes according to ITA 2000 and is banking on an inadequate set of Delhi based advisers to provide a solution which ultimately always falls short of expectations and meets the opposition of the Court.
I hope at least this time the Modi 2.0 Government finds a proper solution which should satisfy the Supreme Court.
Naavi has been advocating that within the provisions of the current ITA 2000 and the proposed structure of the Personal Data Privacy Act, there is a reasonably effective solution to meet this problem. Unfortunately the Government does not listen to innovative suggestions and the private sector is not sure of the revenue capability of such a solution. The so called “Innovators” in the Start Up domain are more interested in re-inventing the wheel by taking up the same type of project again and again without really taking up a really innovative project.
In the current context of the Supreme Court putting a sort of a dead line on “Traceability” of social media transactions, Naavi proposes that there can be a “Public-Private Partnership” which can meet the needs of the Government and at the same time make the project self sustaining and perhaps profitable.
I look forward to the Government coming up with a proposal to invite suggestions from the private sector and perhaps it may be possible to provide a good response to Supreme Court within the deadline.
Watch this space for more information on this topic.