Delhi HC Directs Microsoft, Google To File Review Before Single Judge In Non-consensual Intimate Images Case - Eastern Mirror
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Delhi HC directs Microsoft, Google to file review before single judge in non-consensual intimate images case

By IANS Updated: May 09, 2024 10:17 pm
Photo: IANS

NEW DELHI — The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked tech giants Microsoft and Google to pursue a review of the single-judge bench’s ruling, which had directed the search engines to proactively remove non-consensual intimate images (NCII) from the internet without requiring specific URLs.

The companies had argued that implementing such directives is technologically unfeasible and exceeds the existing legal framework.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora underscored the importance of presenting facts to the single judge through a review process.

It also assured that if Microsoft and Google remain dissatisfied with the single judge’s decision, they could seek revival of their appeals.

Furthermore, the bench extended a window of two weeks for filing the review, noting that delays in submission would not be grounds for dismissal.

Senior advocates Arvind Nigam and Jayant Mehta, representing Google and Microsoft, respectively, argued that the directions issued by the single judge surpassed the capabilities of their current technology. They contended the challenge of implementing measures beyond their present capacities, particularly in automatically identifying and removing content without specific URLs.

Both the counsel said that while technology is evolving, the existing capabilities of their search engines do not align with the directives issued by the court. They acknowledged ongoing efforts to enhance technology but said that it remains imperfect at present.

The appeals by Microsoft and Google challenge a judgment delivered by Justice Subramonium Prasad on April 26.

Justice Prasad had cautioned the social media intermediaries that they risk losing their liability protection if they fail to adhere to the timeframe specified under the Information Technology Rules for removing non-consensual intimate content.

He had said that search engines possess the necessary technology to remove NCII content without requiring victims to repeatedly seek the court’s intervention, and cannot claim helplessness in removing or disabling access to links containing illegal content.

It was argued that the single judge’s reliance on Meta’s tool for content removal is misplaced, as Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, does not host any content.

Mehta had contended that complying with the court’s order to proactively search for and remove such content throughout the database is not feasible given current technology limitations. He also pointed out the impracticality of deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to execute the directives, as AI would struggle to differentiate between consensual and non-consensual images.

Also read: Microsoft, Google challenge Delhi HC single-judge bench’s order on removal of non-consensual intimate images

By IANS Updated: May 09, 2024 10:17:27 pm
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