Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 28 October 2021 3.16 AM IST

Using medical data of citizens for other purposes should be prevented: Centre to HC


KOCHI: The counsel for the Central government submitted in Kerala high court on Tuesday that medical data of citizens are very sensitive and using it for other purposes should be prevented.

“The policy of the Centre is that government machinery should be used for data collection and data processing. The Centre also wants to request the Kerala Govt to keep it within the country," the counsel said.

Kerala High Court told the state government that it does not want it to upload the data unless it can tell that data is confidential from Sprinklr as well. The Centre gave its response on Tuesday in response to a petition against the contract signed by the State government with Sprinklr Company to hand over to it the medical data of Covid-affected people in Kerala.

When the petition was taken up again in the noon, Additional AG K K Raveendranath explained that screening of at least 80 lakh people would be necessary.

Currently, the situation demands procedures such as quarantine, isolation, diagnosis and treatment to be done simultaneously.

Kerala High Court asked the state government to file a report on a petition challenging its agreement with US-based company Sprinklr for processing of data related to coronavirus patients.

A bench of Justices Devan Ramachandran and TR Ravi sought a report and emphasized that the issue should be treated seriously and slated the matter for further hearing on April 24.

"We don't want the COVID-19 epidemic to be substituted by a data epidemic. We are proud Kerala has done well in controlling COVID. But we also have concerns about data confidentiality. Information you are uploading on the server is your responsibility," the court said.

"Why do you require Saas now when the COVID cases are low? Where is the guarantee that the data will remain confidential? Unless you are able to guarantee us data confidentiality, the uploading of information to a third party server will remain a problem," it added.

The court said that it can't accept the submission that the data is not sensitive information. "If Kerala government thinks the information is not sensitive, something is amiss," the court said.

"Health data is sensitive. Where is the guarantee that the data will remain confidential? What was the requirement of a third-party service provider? The government should explain how they accepted New York as the jurisdictional court in case of a dispute," it said.

The court also said that it couldn’t accept the claim that Covid curve bent in Kerala because the data was handed over to Sprinklr.

Justice TR Ravi said that he saw in an interview that the contract did not even go to the law department.

"The government will have to explain why this was so," he added.

The Kerala government told the High Court that the contract was necessary for the compelling circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.