The controversial PIL has sought the linking of social media accounts with Aadhaar, to force social media giants to cooperate in cybercrime investigations.

Social media-Aadhaar linking case Madras HC orders Google YouTube to appear before it
news Court Tuesday, November 06, 2018 - 10:30

The Madras High Court has directed American video-sharing website YouTube and its parent company and Internet giant Google LLC to appear before it in a controversial PIL that seeks the linking of social media accounts with the Aadhaar number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI).

On Wednesday, a bench of Justices Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad stated that the endeavour of the court is “how these service providers can help an investigation agency, in the matter of any crime, which is reported and taken note of”.

“Is there not a duty and responsibility of a service provider to furnish information to the investigating agency, promptly, and if so, to proceed further. Viewed from the perspective of privacy vis-a-vis crime, we are of the view that service provider has a duty and responsibility, to provide adequate information to the investigation agency,” the Court observed.

Instead of issuing new notices to the tech companies, the court stated that YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, could inform its parent company that they have to appear before the Madras High Court.

Incidentally, on August 13, the same bench had observed that the relief sought for such linking was 'dangerous' and that it would affect the right to privacy of every individual.

“This is a dangerous relief. It would affect the right to privacy of every individual. If the petitioner faces any such issue, he can very well file a complaint with the police concerned and definitely can track such persons and penalise under appropriate law,” the court had said.

According to one report in the Deccan Chronicle, the petitioner, Antony Rubin, had argued that there was a need to regulate and monitor social media, especially for abuse and propaganda. According to the petitioner, the linking of the Aadhaar or a government-issued identity card would make it easy to track down suspected individuals.

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