Centre for Internet & Society

The Supreme Court has cautioned against linking users’ social media accounts with Aadhaar, saying it will impinge on citizens’ privacy.

The article by Taran Deol and Revathi Krishanan appeared in the Print on August 21, 2019. Gurshabad Grover was quoted.

Madras High Court is not adjudicating on a question of law, but acting as a forum for policy-making

The proceedings in the Aadhaar and social media linkage case in the Madras High Court are very worrying. It is another example of how the courts are continuously expanding the scope of what is permitted as public interest litigation. In this case, the Madras High Court is not adjudicating on a question of law, but acting as a forum for policy-making.

Having said that, cybercrime is a legitimate problem. If law enforcement agencies are unable to investigate crimes, we need to think of other more effective legal instruments.

Unfortunately, even the measures that are being deliberated in the court are not identifying the root cause of these problems — retrieving information from online platforms based outside India. And this could be a long and cumbersome process.

Instead of thinking about how India can sign bilateral agreements with other countries that can make the process for requesting legal information easier, an entirely unrelated solution is being given. It is in line with the worrying trend of the unchecked issues with the Aadhaar programme, which are now being used as a common excuse to refrain from looking at cases where criminal investigation is required. The solution misses the scope of solving the issue at hand entirely, and carries its own massive risks of infringing privacy and violating freedom of expression.