Should Aadhaar be used as KYC for Social media accounts? We have recently seen a debate on this question with even the courts hearing arguments in favor and against such a move. The case began in Madras HC and later face book moved the SC seeking transfer of the petition to the Apex court. The original petition was filed in July, 2018 and sought linking of Aadhaar numbers with user accounts to further traceability of messages.
Before we try and answer this question, we need to first understand the differences between the different types of data on social media and messaging platforms. If a crime happens on an end to end cryptographically secure channel like WhatsApp the police may request the following from the provider to help solve the case:
1.Identity data: Phone numbers of the accused. Names and addresses of the accused.
2.Metadata: Sender, receiver(s), time, size of message, flag identifying a forwarded messages, delivery status, read status, etc.
3.Payload Data: Actual content of the text and multimedia messages.
Different countries have taken different approaches to solving different layers of the surveillance problem. Let us start with identity data. Some like india require KYC for sale of SIM cards while others like the UK allow anonymous purchases
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