HC restrains U.S. based IT firm from analysing,processing data of COVID-19 patients

Kochi, Apr 24 (): The Kerala High Court on Fridayrestrained a US-based IT firm from analysing or processing thedata related to COVID-19 patients and directed it toretransfer to the state government, any data it has obtained.

However, the court permitted the state government toutilise the services of the firm Sprinklr, for processingdata, subject to stringent conditions.

In an interim order on a plea seeking to quash of thestate government's contract with Sprinklr, a division bench,comprising Justices Devan Ramachandran and T R Ravi, alsodirected the state government to anonymize all data of COVID-19 patients collected by it and allow the IT firm to accessdata only after completing the anonymization process.

Restraining Sprinklr from any act of breaching theconfidentiality of data provided by the Kerala government, theCourt directed it not to deal with the data directly orindirectly in conflict with the deal signed between the stategovernment and the IT firm.Advertisement

The Court also restrained Sprinklr from using the name orlogo of the state government for its promotional purposes.

It also directed the state government to take informedconsent from individuals before allowing a third party foreigncompany to process their data.

Earlier, the Kerala government had filed a statement inthe High Court, rejecting charges of illegality in its ITcontract with the firm for processing data related to COVID-19patients and contended that initiation of penal action forbreach would fall within the ambit of Indian IT Act.

The Centre had also filed a preliminary statement inconnection with the case, saying sharing of sensitive data,especially of health related information of large number ofpeople, is to be resorted to in a very careful manner.

In his plea, petitioner Balu Gopalakrishnan had said theonly concern is whether the data stored in the web server ofcompany is safe and whether it can be used by the company formonetary gains. COR TGB APRRAVINDRANATH APRRAVINDRANATH

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