Citing concerns about the citizens’ right to privacy, Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra has filed an impleadment application in the Madras High Court to make her submissions against the abrogation of an individual’s right to privacy. In the absence of any law regarding data protection, she has called any analysis of steps to be taken for decryption or linkage of government identification with online accounts “premature”. MediaNama has reached out to Moitra for comment. As of now, IFF is the only intervener in the case. A Chennai-based communications platform, KPost, has filed an impleadment application which hasn’t been heard in the court so far. The next hearing is tomorrow. Problems with linking govt IDs to social media accounts In her filing to the court, Moitra highlighted the following problems with linking social media accounts to Aadhaar/government identification, or compulsory decryption or de-anonymisation of end-to-end encrypted communication: Invasion of privacy in private spheres of life as almost every Indian citizen relies on such platforms for daily communication. Chilling effect on the usage of such platforms by Indian citizens Problem of digital profiling: Linking all such information to a single unique identifier could be used to create digital profile, which could then be used to influence us in different ways Greater intrusion by Big Tech into people’s private lives: Companies such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Google already have an unprecedented amount of personal and private data on citizens. Any mandatory linkage to government identification could worsen their intrusion into people’s personal lives.…
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