In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 31st March 2019

MediaNama would like to thank its sponsors: E2E, for their support.

Banks ask RBI to allow recurring payments in UPI 2.0: Report

Indian lenders have asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow customers with UPI 2.0-enabled devices to use the recurring payments feature for such things as the monthly instalments on their loans, insurance premiums, and mutual fund investments, the Economic Times reported. UPI is a mobile platform that facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts without requiring details of the beneficiary’s bank account. Read it here

Facebook agrees to remove multiple targeting options for housing, employment, and credit card ads in the US

Facebook will now remove ad targeting via age, gender and zip code for housing, employment, and credit card ads (HEC ads) as part of its settlement with American civil rights groups. ‘Multicultural affinity’ targeting and any other targeting option relating to protected groups will be removed. Read it here

Hackers attacked ASUS update server to install malicious backdoor on computers: Kaspersky

Hackers compromised an ASUS server which used the company’s software update tool, to install a malicious backdoor on thousands of users’ computers, according to Kapersky Lab. The Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab discovered the incident late last year and ASUS said that the compromise has since been stopped. Read it here blocked on multiple Jio connections, reportedly on govt orders

Legal developments website Indian Kanoon ( is blocked on multiple Jio connections from different areas and states. When a Twitter user first reported the block, Jio said the wesbite was blocked on a government order and the block is applicable across operators. Read it here

The Manila Principles and Intermediary Liability protections in India –

The Manila Principles is a set of guidelines outlining safeguards that must apply in all legal frameworks on intermediary liability. The document was launched at RightsCon, Southeast Asia – a multi-stakeholder conference held in Manila, Philippines in 2015 – by a coalition of Internet rights activists and civil society organizations. Read it here

Updated: European Parliament passes Copyright Directive; reactions

Update, 28 March: The European Parliament has issued a list of FAQs from the Copyright Directive that was passed yesterday. It states that it arrived towards this legislation through a ‘thorough and democratic process’ which began in 2013, and included multiple studies, impact assessments, discussions, proposals and votes. Read it here

We need a better approach to Whatsapp and traceability

It’s disingenuous when the Indian government says that they want traceability but “not at the cost of encryption or privacy.”

Traceability is bound to be at the cost of privacy, even if it means getting meta-data. And, when it comes to Whatsapp, traceability is likely to be at the cost of end-to-end encryption, and invariably, the removal of end-to-end encryption means that it is at the cost of privacy. Read it here

India’s e-commerce policy needs to define new baselines and move past the disproportionate focus on data – Adnan Ansari

The Draft National E-commerce Policy released by Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is currently under discussion and open for stakeholder comments (until March 29, 2019). The policy places an overtly large focus on data and situates e-commerce within the broader context of the digital economy. Read it here

Ola to pilot a self-drive car service in the coming weeks

Ola plans to invest $500 million in debt and equity over the next 2 years in a self drive service, the Economic Times reported, citing sources. It will have a fleet of 10,000 sedans and SUVs with other vehicles in “major cities in the coming months.” An Ola spokesperson told MediaNama that it was piloting Ola Self-Drive with rentals, subscription (for consumers) and corporate leasing via Ola Corporate in select cities over the next few weeks. Ola did not mention the cities in which the pilot would take place. Read it here

OpenSignal report: Dhanbad has best 4G availability; Mumbai comes in at 40

Dhanbad, the second most populous city in Jharkhand, has the best 4G availability among India’s 50 largest cities, according to a study by OpenSignal, which specializes in wireless coverage mapping through crowdsourcing. India’s largest cities performed poorly. Read it here