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MTNL refuses to provide info about injected ads on its platform

The Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has refused to provide information on injected ads/service messages on web browsers on its broadband network to a user who sought this information through the Right to Information Act, 2005. (source: Github) Sushubh Mittal wrote to Public Information Officer asking for this information pertaining to one year: - a copy of the circular which said that the MTNL decided to start injecting browser popup ads on its service - the technology used for this - the provider of the technology and a copy of the agreement made with the said company to get this service - name of the company operating the service on behalf of MTNL and the charges MTNL paid for it - a copy of the agreement of revenue sharing if there was one such in place - the number of ads delivered and revenue made through the platform and - the details of user data and who has access to this user data MTNL rejected all of these points on the basis of Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act which states that, “information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information” MTNL ads were visible across the internet We reported that MTNL had started inserting code into what users were browsing in June last year. Its ads were mainly ads for…

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I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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