Latest Updates on Privacy – November, 2021 – Part II

This is a rundown of last week’s news updates on Privacy:

Centre defends legal validity of new IT rules requiring tracing of first originator

The Central Government has maintained the legality of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 mandating messaging platforms like WhatsApp to “track” an information’s initial source or first originator, before the Delhi High Court. In the “legitimate state interest” of combating fake news and crimes against women and children, the Centre claimed that Section 87 of the Information Technology Act gave it the authority to form Rule 4(2) of the Intermediary Rules, which requires a significant social media intermediary to enable the identification of the first source of information.

Parliamentary panel asks government to assess impact of internet shutdowns

The Information Technology Panel headed by MP Shashi Tharoor has asked the Centre to assess the impact of internet shutdowns on public life, and to establish standards for enforcing internet shutdowns and to define “safety and security”, the most cited reason for curbing internet access. A report by the panel has supposedly said that internet shutdowns cannot be arbitrary.

Karnataka Government goes digital to verify documents

The Karnataka government is moving towards a paperless system by implementing digital document verification for employment and educational purposes using the Central Government’s application Digilocker. The Digilocker app is directly linked with government-issued documents like Aadhar, driving license etc. Users can access their digital documents anytime, anywhere and share them online. The scheme aims to make it easier to validate the authenticity of documents as they are issued directly by the registered users themselves. The department is encouraging private companies’ participation to digitally verify documents for employment purposes.
Authored by Rohan Joshua Jacob (Associate) and Anjali Shekhawat (Intern).

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