- The SC had asked social media platform-owners to list measures taken to block videos of sexual abuse.
- A fine of ₹1 lakh was imposed on these companies after they failed to present an affidavit listing the same.
- These companies, including Facebook India, Google India, WhatsApp and Yahoo, have got till June 15 to comply.
Tech giants Google India and Facebook India now face a fine of ₹1 lakh ($14,720 approximately) for failing to comply with the Supreme Court’s orders to inform the court of measures taken to block videos that include sexual abuse on their social media platforms.
Google and Facebook aren’t the only companies under fire. The justice bench that comprises of Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit issued notices to Yahoo, Facebook Ireland, Google Inc., Microsoft and WhatsApp as well. Thus far, these companies have not filed any documents to highlight their efforts.
As per the court’s new directive, the penalty amount will be kept with the Registry as a short-term fixed deposit while the companies will have until June 15 to file an affidavit that outlines the steps taken by them to curb videos of sexual offences.
The Centre also informed the court that their Portal Integration with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems would be ready for its official launch in another two months. The bench has issued a deadline of July 15, for the task to be completed along with the coordination required between the relevant ministries.
The Supreme Court has, in the past, criticized search engines by Google and Microsoft over sex determination advertisements. They, in fact, ordered these companies to block 43 keywords relating to pre-natal gender tests.
Google is already in a legal battle with the Competition Commission of India for having abused its dominant position in the market and violating ‘anti-trust’ laws. Even Facebook isn’t out of hot water with the Cambridge Analytica data scandal hanging over its head and the Indian government declaring it has no plans of retracting its inquiry.