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SC asks govt to review intermediary act, UIDAI says linking Aadhaar to social media needs new law

SC asks govt to review intermediary act, UIDAI says linking Aadhaar to social media needs new law
Photo Credit: VCCircle

The Supreme Court asked the government to frame guidelines to curb misuse of social media while ensuring privacy as part of its hearing on transfer petition filed by Facebook. 

A two-member bench was hearing a petition filed by the social media platform seeking transfer of public interest litigations (PILs) filed against it in multiple courts across the country to the apex court. 

The bench has given the government time till October 22 to file an affidavit regarding revision of the existing intermediary act which governs social media platforms, The Economic Times reported. 

Facebook is facing four PILs, one each in Bombay and Jabalpur High Courts and two in the Madras High Court. One of the PILs filed by Anthony Clement Rubin in the Madras High Court seeks to link the Aadhaar number to social media accounts. This was later changed to linking any government identity to social media accounts

Earlier this month, while hearing the transfer petition, the bench had asked the views of the central government on the issue. The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) had written to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) asking for its opinion on September 13.

In its response, the UIDAI has clearly indicated that such a linkage will require formulating a new law as the current use of Aadhaar for identity only extends to government schemes and subsidies funded out of Consolidated Fund of India.

A Supreme Court judgement passed in September 2018 restricted the use of Aadhaar for verification of income tax returns and PAN details and central government subsidies. The use of Aadhaar was later opened up to telcos and banks as part of Aadhaar and Other (Amendment) Bill 2019. https://www.techcircle.in/2019/08/22/amendment-to-money-laundering-act-paves-way-for-digital-kyc 

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