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Tender For Social Media Monitoring Agency Withdrawn, UIDAI Tells SC In Mahua Moitra's Plea

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
17 Dec 2019 12:00 PM GMT
Tender For Social Media Monitoring Agency Withdrawn, UIDAI Tells SC In Mahua Moitras Plea
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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that it has withdrawn the tender to invite bids for the controversial 'social media monitoring agency'. The Authority further submitted that it was not going to float a similar tender in future.This development happened in the the petition filed by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, who had...

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that it has withdrawn the tender to invite bids for the controversial 'social media monitoring agency'. 

The Authority further submitted that it was not going to float a similar tender in future.

This development happened in the the petition filed by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, who had challenged the decision of UIDAI as violative of right to digital privacy. 



The  UIDAI had in July last year floated a tender inviting bids for an agency having the technical capability to "track and monitor online conversations", "doing a sentiment analysis of all such conversations and flag any discrepancy in sentiments"and "work out and neutralise negative sentiments". The UIDAI claimed that this social media monitoring agency would be used only to gauge public sentiment related to Aadhaar and clear misconceptions and misgivings related to the Aadhaar project.

In the petition, Moitra said that the UIDAI's project was just another social media surveillance centre by another name, the tender for which was floated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and was subsequently withdrawn when challenged before the Supreme Court in an earlier PIL filed by her

After several hearings in the present matter, the UIDAI today made a statement before a bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph today that the tender has expired and the UIDAI has no plans of reviving the tender or floating a similar tender. Dr Abhishek Sighvi, Senior Advocate appearing with Nizam Pasha and Ranjeeta Rohatgi, Advocates requested that the statements made by UIDAI be recorded in the order and the PIL was disposed off in terms of the statement.

This is now the second time Central Government has back tracked on its plans of social media surveillance in PILs filed by the Krishnanagar MP.


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