UIDAI Cuts Ties With Social Media Monitoring Agencies That Observe Online Conversations

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UIDAI has told the Supreme Court that it has withdrawn from the tender inviting bids for social media monitoring agencies to track and monitor online conversations. The Unique Identification Authority of India told the Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph that it wouldn't float another tender in the future either.

UIDAI Cuts Ties With Social Media Monitoring Agencies

 

UIDAI Scraps Social Media Monitoring Agency

A year ago, UIDAI had floated a tender that sought bids for an agency with good technical capabilities. The agency would monitor and track online conversations and also conduct a sentiment analysis of conversations done on social media. The agency would also flag any discrepancy in sentiments and would have also neutralized negative viewpoints.

Back in July 2018, the Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra moved the Supreme Court and challenged the UIDAI's decision and termed it as a violation of the citizen's right to digital privacy. Moitra had filed a petition through Nizam Pasha, saying that the tender called for a social media monitoring agency for social media surveillance.

On the other hand, UIDAI claimed that the purpose of the monitoring agency would help in understanding and valuing the public sentiment in connection with Aadhar. The authority claimed that it would help in sorting out the varied misconceptions that often led to misgivings with the unique identification project.

UIDAI Tender Scrapped

Moitra filed another PIL citing that it was "just another social media surveillance center by another name." The tender floated was finally withdrawn after the second challenge and PIL filing. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, along with advocates Pasha and Ranjeeta Rohatgi, requested that the statements made by UIDAI be recorded in the order and the PIL was disposed off in terms of the statement.

The Aadhar authority has finally told the Supreme Court that the tender has expired after several hearings on the matter. UIDAI has also said that it has no further plans of reviving the tender or floating in the future. This marks the second occasion when the central government has stepped back on its plans of social media surveillance after PIL filings.

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