KN Govindacharya and his PIL against Facebook seems to have no ending. According to a story reported at TNN, The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to issue a notification on the electronic signature required by an individual to send a complaint to Facebook via e-mail.
The request has been made by the division bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru who were listening to the petitioner who has alleged that Facebook is adopting a cumbersome procedure for users to send a complaint to its grievance officer. The petitioner is none other than former BJP leader and RSS patron KN Govindacharya who had earlier filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against Facebook on different accounts.
According to Govindacharya, the social networking site should display the name and contact details of grievance officers on its portal. Besides it has asked the government to make sure that other social networking sites appointed a grievance officer.
Arguing in the court advocate Virag Gupta, appearing for Govindacharya, told the bench that to send a complaint by post to the grievance officer of Facebook, the complainant has to first send it to Ireland, its headquarters; and if through an email, it had to be sent with digital signature. The counsel has objected the move of making a digital signature mandatory sine the technology is still not common in the country.
On hearing these arguments the bench has asked the central government’s counsel to seek instructions in this regard.
The concern raised by Govindacharya is valid since one can’t just accept the entire world to be aware of electronic signature and how it can be implemented in the emails. Moreover, Facebook has no help on the same to guide users who are not aware of electronic signature.
The PIL battle between Govindacharya and Facebook which was initially filed in April focused on the safety concerns related to Indian minors accessing Facebook, among other issues involving social networking sites. That issue, however, remains far from being solved; meanwhile other issues have cropped up.
While there is an ongoing debate on how children under 13 in the country are getting access to the social network and what measures were being taken to protect Indian minors, here we see a new debate that is forcing Facebook to make grievance reporting simpler.
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