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Judiciary

‘Google PIN as condition of granting bail,’ SC seeks assistance from tech-giant

By Jhanak Singh      24 February, 2024 11:33 AM      0 Comments
Google PIN as condition of granting bail SC seeks assistance from tech giant

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday asked Google India to explain the technical aspects of dropping a PIN in the context of putting a condition for bail to an accused in order to provide information to the investigators in relation with his location.

The top court said it would consider later the larger aspect whether the condition could infringe on the right to privacy of an individual.

A bench of justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan took into record an affidavit by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, stating that as far as working of the Google PIN is concerned, it is appropriate if the information is sought from Google India Pvt Ltd.

The court issued notice to Google India Pvt Ltd, seeking information on sharing the technical aspects of the movement tracker.

The bench asked the company to file a detailed affidavit explaining the working of the Google PIN in the context of putting it as a condition of granting bail.

The bench clarified that it is not impleading the company as a respondent in the case but only seeking its assistance for obtaining information on the working of the Google PIN.

The court set aside the two stringent conditions imposed by the Delhi High Court and granted bail to the accused, who is a Nigerian national, in a case registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The bench noted that courts across the country have been including the sharing of mobile locations as one of the conditions of bail, since many used smartphones.

In the previous hearing, the apex court noted that the condition of sharing of Google PIN may prima facie offend the privacy rights of the accused, as assured under Article 21 of the Constitution.



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