A week of Aadhaar and Facebook in the news, with one long-drawn case coming to an end and a data breach involving a potential 50 million people
The past week was a landmark one for the country, with the long-awaited Aadhaar verdict being pronounced by the Supreme Court. There were other developments in technology impacting people across the country, including a Facebook breach that affected 50 million people worldwide.
The week began with Microsoft and the Data Security Council of India tying up for an initiative to train women in cybersecurity.
Supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology among others, 1,000 women from underserved communities will be trained in ten locations across the country and offered employment opportunities.
Later in the day, Facebook India said it has appointed Ajit Mohan as its Managing Director and Vice-President, who was earlier Star India's OTT platform Hotstar’s CEO.
The position of MD at Facebook has been lying vacant since October last year when Umang Bedi quit after a stint which lasted only 15 months.
In an interview with Moneycontrol, HCL Technologies’ EVP and Marketing head at HCL Technologies said the focus for IT companies was more on the right blend of skills than an offshore-onshore mix, in the H-1B visa issue.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India declared Aadhaar — the biometric identity project of the country — constitutional but read down several provisions.
The most notable of these was the striking down of Section 57, prohibiting private companies from insisting on Aadhaar. This means that mobile companies and banks can no longer insist on Aadhaar.
Justice AK Sikri, reading the majority opinion, said robust data protection regime has to be brought in place as early as possible.
However, there is still no clarity on what happens to the Aadhaar data private companies have already collected.
The judgment also impacts insurers as well, who can no longer seek Aadhaar details of customers to settle claims.
However, in his dissent, Justice DY Chandrachud said the Aadhaar Act could not have been passed as Money Bill as it amounts to fraud on the Constitution and is liable to be struck down.
The dissenting opinion doesn’t mean much in this case at present. But there have been cases where a majority judgment has been overturned some years later and dissenting opinion has been upheld.
A dissenting judgment also leaves open the possibility of being referred to a larger bench at a later stage.
On Friday, Facebook revealed a security breach that had impacted nearly 50 million accounts, leading them to be logged out of the their accounts. An additional 40 million accounts were logged out to be on the safe side. The breach exploited a vulnerability in the social media platform’s “view as” feature.Also Read: Facebook reveals security breach affecting 50 million users, says 'taking it very seriously'