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Any Plan To Link Social Media And Aadhaar? SC Asks Government

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to explain if it is contemplating any move to link social media accounts with the Aadhaar Card

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Aadhaar, Identity, Social Media SC, Order
Logo of Aadhaar Card Reading application. Aadhar card is provided by India Government. Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to explain if it is contemplating any move to link social media accounts with Aadhaar.

A bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta asked the Centre to inform it of this by September 24, the next date fixed for the hearing, as it took up a plea by Facebook seeking transfer of various petitions from different high courts to the top court.

In Friday’s hearing, the bench said that it will not hear merits related to the issue but focus on the question of transfer of various petitions pending in different high courts.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the Centre, said the government has no objection to transfer of the cases from high courts to the top court.

Facebook has said that the transfer of cases would serve the interests of justice by avoiding the possibility of conflicting decisions from the high courts.

It told the apex court that two petitions had been filed in the Madras High Court and one each in the Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Courts, and sought a stay on all these proceedings.

The top court, in the last hearing, has not stayed proceedings in the high courts but restrained them from passing any final order.

Aadhaar, Identity, Social Media SC, Order
On August 20, the Supreme Court of India sought the response of the Centre and social media companies to respond on Facebooks plea to shift cases related to linking social media accounts with Aadhaar. Pixabay

All the pleas in the three high courts have sought a declaration that Aadhaar or any other government-authorised identity proof should be made mandatory to authenticate social media accounts.

“All the common cases seek similar relief and involve the similar question of law,” Facebook said in its plea, adding that any finding on the common questions would have far reaching implications for the general public and the parties.

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It said that it would suffer irreparable loss if the proceedings were not stayed at this stage, as conflicting decisions on the prayer seeking to link Aadhaar with social media platforms would adversely impact the its platform used throughout India.

The plea said that the common questions involve the interpretation of important Central statutes including the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 which would directly impact the central and state governments.

The Madras High Court had expanded the scope of the case to consider the issue of online abuse and fake news being circulated through social media and sought to define the liabilities of intermediaries in cases of fake news and cyber abuse. (IANS)

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Facebook Commits $130 mn to Build Global Oversight Board for Ensuring Accountability

Facebook intends to continue funding the board's operations in the future, and these reports will be used to assess the need for additional, substantive and long-term funding

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Facebook
Facebook said it has established the independent Oversight Board Trust to ensure the board can safeguard its ability to make independent decisions and recommendations. Pixabay

Facebook has made an initial commitment of $130 million to build a global oversight board that will ensure good governance and accountability across its services and platforms.

The initial funding will cover operational costs such as office space, staff and travel expenses and should allow the board to operate for at least its first two full terms, approximately six years, Brent Harris, Director of Governance and Global Affairs at Facebook, said in a statement.

The board will submit a yearly budget to the trust for approval and disbursement of funds.

Annual reports from the board and trust will help to document the health and effectiveness of the board, including its stewardship of these resources.

Facebook intends to continue funding the board’s operations in the future, and these reports will be used to assess the need for additional, substantive and long-term funding.

Last November, Mark Zuckerberg wrote about his vision for what content governance should look like for Facebook.

Facebook said it has established the independent Oversight Board Trust to ensure the board can safeguard its ability to make independent decisions and recommendations.

Facebook
Facebook has made an initial commitment of $130 million to build a global oversight board that will ensure good governance and accountability across its services and platforms. Pixabay

“The board will have its own staff, independent from Facebook. To start, we expect this staff to include a director, case managers and dedicated staff members (or contracted services) who can support things such as the board’s communications, legal, human resources and research needs,” said Harris.

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In addition, said Facebook, it will continue to work with outside experts to source and review candidates for board membership, including those who’ve been recommended through the public portal, which we opened in September.

“We are eager to see the Oversight Board take shape and start hearing cases next year,” said Facebook. (IANS)