Social Media Communications Hub: A Privacy Nightmare

On April 25, 2018 the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting released a bid document (“SMCH Bid Document”) stating its intent to establish a Social Media Communication Hub (“SMCH”) which would enable processes such as analyzing large volumes of data across diverse digital platforms in real time, comprehensive analytics along with monitoring and analyzing social media communications etc.

Brief Analysis of The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018

On 27 July 2018, the nine-member expert committee headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna submitted its Report along with a draft bill titled The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 (“the Bill”) to the Ministry of Information and Technology (MeitY). The Report and the Bill are a result of a process that began last year, including internal meetings and a public consultation by the expert committee through a whitepaper. We, along with many other stakeholders, submitted our comments to the whitepaper in January 2018.

Income Tax Returns filing sans Aadhaar

Aadhaar Free Income Tax Return Filing; Courtesy Delhi High Court

As July 31, 2018, the deadline to file Income Tax returns for the Assessment Year 2018 – 2019, comes closer, the complexities and jargon behind whether or not Aadhaar Registration/ Enrollment ID (Aadhaar Number) has to be furnished/ linked become more and more relevant by the minute. Thankfully for us, the Delhi High Court has come to save the day.

Updates on Aadhaar Final Hearing: Day 38

On the last day (day 38) of the final Aadhaar hearing, Senior Advocate, Gopal Subramanium resumed his submissions for the State. He started by asking the bench, “Is Aadhaar really affirmative action? Is the Act an enabler or is it in the guise of enabler? The Act is not an instrumentality to deliver services. It is only a means of identification.” He contended that the bench has to read the true purpose of the law and whether the impugned law seeks to achieve that purpose Mr. Subramanium was of the view that dignity and autonomy is not preserved by Section 7 of the Act.

Updates on Aadhaar Final Hearing: Day 37

On day 37 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan resumed his submissions for the petitioners by stating that banks and telecom operators were linking individuals’ Aadhaar with their bank accounts and mobile numbers without their permission. This is called inorganic seeding. He asserted that UIDAI collected biometrics of a hundred crore people which is the entire population of Europe and North America without any statutory backing.

Updates on Aadhaar Final Hearing: Day 36

On day 36 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Attorney General K.K Venugopal resumed his submissions and stated that Article 110(1)(g) is a standalone provision and there can be a money bill that does not relate to Article 110(1)(a)-(f) of the Constitution but is still covered independently under Article 110(1)(g). Therefore, the Aadhaar bill did not have to be passed by the Rajya Sabha. Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra interjected and said that Section 57 is an enabling provision that allows state legislatures to introduce Aadhaar for various services.