Govt To Handle User Complains Against Social Media Companies
The IT Ministry stated that GAC (Grievance Appellate Committees) will start handling user complaints against social media firms from 1st March.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT announced on Saturday that the Grievance Appellate Committees established by the government to investigate user complaints against prominent social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will begin operations on 1st March, 2023.
Friday, the Centre notified 3 Grievance Appellate Committees (GACs) under an October amendment to the IT Rules 2021.
“Taking into consideration the transition period required for intermediaries in accordance with their requests and technical requirements, the online platform will be operational one month after this notice of the Grievance Appellate Committee, i.e. on 1st March 2023,” read an official statement.
According to the announcement, each of the three GACs will have a chairperson, two full-time members from various government agencies, and retired senior executives from the sector for a three-year period commencing on the day of their appointment.
“The GAC is a crucial component of the entire legislative and regulatory framework for ensuring that the Internet in India is accessible, secure, trustworthy, and responsible.
The necessity for GAC arose because Internet Intermediaries left unresolved or inadequately resolved a substantial number of complaints.
GAC is anticipated to foster a culture of consumer responsiveness among all Internet platforms and facilitators “said the statement.
The GAC will be an online digital platform that operates exclusively online and digitally; the overall process, from appeal filing to judgment, will be digitally performed.
“This new appellate body will allow users to dispute the decisions of the grievance officers of social media facilitators and other internet intermediaries. The Committee will attempt to respond to the user’s appeal within 30 days “the new statement.
As stated in the statement, each of the three GACs will have a chairperson, two full-time members from various government agencies, and retired senior executives from the sector for a three-year period commencing on the day of their appointment.
The chief executive officer of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs will preside over the first panel.
Ashutosh Shukla, a retired officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS), and Sunil Soni, a former chief general manager and chief information officer of Punjab National Bank (PNB), have been chosen as full-time members of the panel.
The joint secretary in charge of the Policy and Administration Division at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will preside over the second panel.
Sanjay Goel, a former traffic service officer of the Indian Railways, and Krishnagiri Ragothamarao, a former managing director and chief executive officer of IDBI Intech, have been appointed as full-time members of the third panel.
The announcement is a component of the tougher IT regulations for establishing government-appointed GACs that were announced in October 2022.
Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar stated, following the publication of the IT guidelines for social media, that compliance with rules and laws was not a “pick-and-choose” or “cherry-picking” choice for the platforms.
When guidelines are not observed, the “safe harbor” protection that these platforms enjoy disappears.
The provision of secure harbour under IT laws protects online platforms — social media, e-commerce, etc. — from user-posted information.
“The government views the internet through the lens of protecting it and holding its 120 billion digital nagriks accountable (digital citizens). The goal of a trillion dollar digital economy requires a trustworthy and secure internet “The minister stated.