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Withdrew tender to invite bids for a social media monitoring agency: UIDAI to SC

ANI | Updated: Dec 17, 2019 18:24 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 17 (ANI): The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the Supreme Court on Tuesday withdrew it's tender to invite bids for a social media monitoring agency and made a statement that they are not going to float another similar tender.
The UIDAI had, in July last year, floated a tender inviting bid for an agency having the technical capability to track and monitor online conversations, doing a sentiment analysis of all such conversations and flag any discrepancy in sentiments and work out and neutralise negative sentiments.
The agency claimed that this social media monitoring agency would be used only to gauge public sentiment related to Aadhaar and clear misconceptions and misgivings related to the Aadhaar project, Advocate Nizam Pasha, appearing for Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, said.
The floating of the tender was challenged by Moitra before the Supreme Court calling it a violation of the right to privacy, and saying this is just another social media surveillance centre by another name, the tender for which was floated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and was subsequently withdrawn by the Attorney General when challenged before the Supreme Court in another PIL filed by Mahua, the advocate said.
After several hearings in the present matter, the UIDAI today made a statement before a bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K M Joseph today that the tender has expired and the UIDAI has no plans of reviving the tender or floating a similar tender.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing with Advocates Nizam Pasha and Ranjeeta Rohatgi, requested that the statements made by UIDAI be recorded in the order and the PIL was disposed of in terms of the statement.
This is now the second time Central Government has backtracked on its plans of social media surveillance in PILs filed by Mahua Moitra, Pasha said. (ANI)