Should Facebook Accounts be Linked with Aadhaar to Curb Fake News?

Tamil Nadu government has been advocating the linking of Aadhaar number with social media profiles of users in order to check circulation of fake news

The Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear Facebook’s plea in the ongoing cases demanding for linking of social media profiles of users with Aadhaar number. Three cases are pending before the High Courts of Bombay, Madras, and Madhya Pradesh.

The top court was told by the attorney representing the Tamil Nadu Government that linking of Aadhaar number with social media profiles of users is required to curb fake, pornographic and even content related to terror. The argument was made in the view that linking of Aadhaar to social media handles would no longer let spurious elements operate under anonymous handles and spread misinformation.

However, Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, is against the suggestion as it feels that sharing of the 12 digit Aadhaar number would violate the privacy policy of users. Furthermore, Facebook says that its WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted and therefore even they had no access to users’ messages.

“Privacy and security is in our DNA, which is why we have end-to-end encryption. When end-to-end encrypted, your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, status updates, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands,” says WhatsApp. Facebook claims that messages sent can only be read by the user and the one he intended to send it to. Nevertheless, this feature was challenged by an IIT-Madras professor in court last month. Professor V Kamakoti had said that it was technically possible to add an identification tag to messages on WhatsApp.

While arguments put forth by both parties are valid, the Supreme Court has issued notices to various social media handles and sought their responses by next month. Regardless, of what the court’s decision would be, what do you as users have to say? Would you be comfortable linking your social media accounts with your Aadhaar number? Do let us know in the comments section.

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