According to the source, the Delhi High Court on Monday denied linking of Social media accounts with Aadhaar, Pan/ Voter ID stating “it would lead to storage of data of genuine account holders, who are much more in number, ‘unnecessarily’ to foreign countries.”
The bench comprising of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar declared that “linking of social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp with Aadhaar, PAN or any other identity the document requires, framing of policies or amendment in existing laws by the Central Government. He further stated that the same cannot be concluded by the courts, whose duty is only to interpret the laws and not to make laws.”
The motive behind the petition filed by the BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay to link the social media accounts with Aadhaar and other identity documents was to weed out the fake accounts which were used to propagate “fake and paid news” during elections. However, the court said, “to weed out 20% fake accounts, all the data, including that of genuine account holders, will go to a foreign country. The majority of account holders are genuine. Therefore, if the linkage is ordered by this court, there may be a situation where data of genuine account holders will also go to a foreign country, maybe unnecessarily.”
The Aadhaar’s mandatory use to verify Permanent Account Number (PAN), Income tax returns and central government subsidies funded from the Consolidated Fund of India was incorporated in the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It was further amended to allow telecom and banking companies to use Aadhaar to collect Know Your Customer information, albeit voluntarily with a customer’s consent. Nonetheless, the High Court focused that linking of social media account with the identity cards is a crucial matter and that it cannot be treated as a gap in the policy.