Linking of social media with Aadhaar: SC asks govt to share plans

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Government to explain if it is contemplating any move to link social media accounts with Aadhaar.

A bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta asked the Centre to inform whether it is contemplating any move on framing some policy to regulate social media and linking of social media accounts with Aadhaar, by September 24, the next date fixed for hearing.

The apex court stated that the issue of linking social media profiles with Aadhaar needs to be decided at the earliest.

The apex court order came on a plea by Facebook seeking transfer of various petitions from different high courts to the top court.

Facebook has said that the transfer of cases would serve the interests of justice by avoiding the possibility of conflicting decisions from the high courts.

The top court in the last hearing has not stayed proceedings in the high courts but restrained them from passing any final order.

Facebook told the apex court that two petitions had been filed in the Madras High Court and one each in the Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Courts.

All the pleas in the three high courts have sought a declaration that Aadhaar or any other government-authorised identity proof should be made mandatory to authenticate social media accounts.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the Bench that it has no objection to transfer of the cases from high courts to the top court.

Notably, the top court issued a notice to the Centre, Google, Twitter, YouTube and others and sought their response by September 13.

The bench said the hearing in cases related to the linkage of social media user profiles with Aadhaar pending before the Madras High Court will continue but no final order will be passed.

The apex court was told by the Tamil Nadu government that social media profiles of users need to be linked with Aadhaar numbers to check the circulation of fake, defamatory and pornographic content as also anti-national and terror material.

Meanwhile, social media platforms like Facebook have been fighting this move to link user profiles with Aadhaar as they believe it would violate the users’ privacy policy.

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