Home Tech Higher authorized danger for third-party content material: Social media corporations to contest extra curbs

Higher authorized danger for third-party content material: Social media corporations to contest extra curbs


Social media corporations plan to problem any change in regulation introduced in by the federal government to tighten middleman pointers. The adjustments would decrease the immunity granted to corporations like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, and over-the-top gamers like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and so on, beneath Section 79 of the Information Technology Act for internet hosting third-party content material and information. In such a state of affairs, such corporations might face greater authorized dangers.

Government sources had earlier this week indicated {that a} new Digital India Act is within the works.

Executives of those corporations mentioned that although the ultimate choice would rely on the contours of the brand new regulation, however one factor is definite, it will result in elevated litigation as the present provisions are draconian sufficient and don’t benefit additional tightening. The authorized fraternity, whereas acknowledging that there must be a measure of accountability on the a part of social media corporations, additionally maintains that laws must be a lightweight contact.

Last yr, the federal government had led to adjustments within the regulation by tightening clauses like Section 69A of the IT Act. Social media corporations had been requested to nominate grievance redressal officers within the nation and resolve shopper grievances inside a particular time interval, in addition to have designated nodal officers for coordination with the federal government over regulation and order issues.

The firms preserve that these adjustments are stringent sufficient to care for authorities’s considerations and if they’ve complied with them why ought to they be subjected to additional harsher measures.

Under the adjustments introduced in final yr, if social media corporations fail in compliance of any of the provisions, their executives can face prison legal responsibility and face a jail time period for a most interval of seven years, a provision which was not there earlier.

No surprise, authorized knowledgeable are additionally cautioning the federal government towards going for overkill.

“The validity of Section 79 of the IT Act, often referred to as safe harbour provisions, has been upheld by the Supreme Court in the Shreya Singhal case in 2015,” Ruby Singh Ahuja, senior associate, Karanjawala and Company, mentioned. “Any dilution of the safe harbour provisions will not only be in direct contravention of the law laid down by the SC but will also not be in consonance with law as it exists in Western parts of the world,” she added.

Echoing an identical view, Manjul Bajpai, a lawyer specialising within the telecom sector, mentioned, “With perfect balance and without compromising the security of the nation, enough freedom should be given to the intermediaries to grow in this tech world. Technology needs to grow so that it benefits the general public. WhatsApp is doing wonders. Even courts are now recognising WhatsApp to serve notice to parties in any case.”

Mishi Choudhary, expertise lawyer and founder, SFLC.in, additionally favours a stability and lightweight contact regulation and towards going for overkill. She mentioned, “Businesses are on a flight to Singapore, Dubai because of unpredictable, over regulations in India. We need light-handed regulations that keep people at the centre.”

Cyber regulation knowledgeable Pawan Duggal, whereas sustaining that the social media firms have to be made extra accountable, additionally factors out that the method must be gradual somewhat than sudden. “India must come up with more cogent and effective mechanisms to make social media firms more responsible. There is a global trend which says blanket exemption from liability should not be given. But making these firms more accountable is a slow process, it’s not going to happen overnight,” he mentioned.

A balanced and never a one-size-fits-all method can also be advisable by Prashant Phillips, associate, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys. “A balanced approach may have to be adopted which ties itself with the nature of intermediary and the functions that such an intermediary dispenses, rather than condensing all intermediaries under one omnibus categorisation,” he mentioned.

Abhishek A Rastogi, associate at Khaitan and Company, gives a barely contrarian view. He says that lot of private data is privy to those corporations and any leakage of such data might result in severe monetary frauds. Hence, strict pointers would forestall such frauds and the shoppers/customers could be extra comfy to make use of these platforms as soon as they’re comfy with the safety norms. “While these firms may face a slightly higher legal risk, in the long run, their businesses will end up gaining as customers will be more comfortable to use these platforms,” he added.

Source: www.financialexpress.com”