Open letter to messaging apps urging platform changes to protect users

We, along with other stakeholder organizations and individuals, are issuing an open letter urging Internet-based messaging service providers like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal and others to make modifications to their platforms so users can no longer be added to group chats without express permission. Highlighting that the current implementation of group chats leave users vulnerable to large-scale harassment and privacy violations, the open letter urges messaging service providers on behalf of the multi-stakeholder community to take immediate corrective action.

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.

Updates on Aadhaar Final Hearing: Day 35

On day 35 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Advocate Zoheb Hossain, appearing for the State of Maharashtra and UIDAI continued his submissions. He began by handing over a bunch of international charters and covenants to the bench on harmonization of socio-economic and civil-political rights. J. Chandrachud remarked that directive principles of state policy are essential for good governance and are a guarantee of reasonableness of a law and even though they are non-justiciable, they are read into Article 21. Mr.

Updates on Aadhaar Final Hearing: Day 33

On day 33 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Senior Advocate, Rakesh Dwivedi appearing for the State/UIDAI resumed his submission on Aadhaar by stating that the standard of control exercised by UIDAI on requesting entities is “fair and reasonable” as laid down under Article 21. He further pointed out that the data collected by REs is segregated and there is no way to aggregate it as there are over three hundred REs. J. Chandrachud asked about misuse of data by individual REs, to which Mr.

Updates on Aadhaar Final Hearing: Day 34

On day 34 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan appearing for Centre for Civil Society submitted that the right to identity is an absolute fundamental right and it stems from recognition of an individual. He stated that Aadhaar provides one kind of proof of identification but an individual has more than one kind of identity, for e.g, father, brother, son, among others.