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Justice BN Srikrishna says 'Mandating Use of Arogya Setu App Is Utterly Unlawful' as it will cause more concerns than benefits

Team SoOLEGAL 13 May 2020 3:15pm

Justice BN Srikrishna says 'Mandating Use of Arogya Setu App Is Utterly Unlawful' as it will cause more concerns than benefits

Former Supreme Court Judge B N Srikrishna, who headed the panel that created the first draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill, called the government's drive to mandate the use of the Aarogya Setu app "utterly illegal'.

Justice Srikrishna was a speaker in a webinar that was hosted by Daksh (an advocacy group), where he stated that, “mandating the use of Arogya setu App will cause more concern to citizens than benefit.”

In the current scenario, through an executive order dated 1 May 2020 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Government has mandated the use of the Aarogya Setu App for contact-tracing purposes for all public and private sector employees.

“It [the order] is akin to an inter-departmental circular. It is good that they are keeping with the principles of the Personal Data Protection Bill but who will be responsible if there is a breach? It does not say who should be notified”, stated by Justice B.N Srikrishna.

While Justice Srikrishna acknowledged that contact tracing is "absolutely necessary," he also emphasized that the central rules were "completely unconstitutional" because the government does not have the right to violate an individual's privacy under the Disaster Management Act 2005.

Justice Srikrishna while pointing out that there was little accountability in the legislative framework in an event of data breachbecause of no clear policy in place, he stated, "If there is a breach of data here, who is answerable? What action has to be taken? Who will held accountable for the data breach? This should really have been traced ideally to PDP (Personal Data Protection) Act or through NDMA by an appropriate amendment”.



Tagged: Justice BN Srikrishna   Arogya Setu App   Supreme Court   Personal Data Protection Bill   Disaster Management Act   Ministry of Home Affairs  
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