Google, Youtube Users Can Be Asked To Link Aadhaar; Madras HC Orders Google To Respond
Madras High Court wants all social media platforms to keep track of their users.
A very interesting petition is right now being heard in Madras High Court. In case the petitioners win, then very soon, all social media users including Google, Youtube can be asked to link their Aadhaar or any other identity proof.
What is this case? And why Madras High Court has ordered Google to respond?
Keep reading to know more!
Madras High Court To Google, Youtube: Appear Before Us
Last month, a person named Antony Clement Rubin had filed a petition in the Madras High Court, asking the Court to order all social media platforms to link their users with Aadhaar or any other valid Govt. ID
The petition is being heard by the Bench of Justice S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad.Hearing the petition, the Bench ordered Google and Youtube to appear before the Court.
However, they didn’t come, as they stated that a fresh notice needs to be issued, separately to Google and Youtube. The original notice was served at Google’s office in Hyderabad.
The Bench observed that a fresh notice is not required, as it will only delay the proceedings, and ordered Google to inform their ‘sister concerns’ about the notice.
The Bench ordered: “We direct, YouTube LLC and Google Inc to enter appearance,”
But Why This Petition?
As per the petitioner Antony Clement Rubin, every social media user should furnish at least one Govt. issued ID to the social media company, and verify their existence.
This, as per the petitioners, would stop “incidences of cyber crime, cyber defamations and cyber stalking and to protect the innocent ‘victimized E-Citizens of India’.
He has asked that not only social media networks like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, etc, but also service providers such as Gmail, Paytm, Uber, Yahoo!, Ola etc should be asked the same.
Cyber Crime Police Counter-Affidavit
This petition became interesting, when Chennai Police’ Cyber Crime Division filed a counter-affidavit, supporting the petition and putting forth their own arguments to give weight to the petition.
Additional Commissioner of Police, Central Crime Branch, Greater Chennai had filed a counter affidavit, according to which social media companies like Whatsapp, Google, Twitter etc are not cooperating when they are asked to furnish details of culprits, in case of any cyber crime.
After this affidavit was filed, The Bench at Madras High Court said that in case of any crime happening, the social media companies are bound to assist the police.
The Bench ordered the social media companies to appear before them, as it said, “Social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Whatsapp, Google from whom information is sought for investigation, Cyber Crime, Commissioner of Police, are required to be heard, as to why they should not be made as party respondents, to these writ petitions.”
The next hearing on this matter is on November 22nd.
In case the Bench passes an order in favour of the petitioners, then all social media users will have to link their Aadhaar or any other ID proof with their respective accounts.
Whatsapp has already informed the Govt. that they cannot trace a message or a user, as they employ encryption to protect privacy. Govt. can ban Whatsapp over this issue. That matter is being handled separately.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.