In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 12th January 2020

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Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Considering consent and offences

The popular teahouse chain Chaayos has been in the news recently for using facial recognition technology (‘FRT’) at a number of its stores in Delhi and Bangalore. Chaayos uses this technology to create profiles of its customers. Read it here

MEITY to brief Joint Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill on January 14

Union IT Minister RS Prasad today introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha. Prasad said the bill should be examined by a Joint Parliamentary Committee for review, but it’s unclear when that will happen. Read it here

Bharti Airtel get shareholders’ nod to raise Rs 21,000 crore

Shareholders of Bharti Airtel have given it the green light to raise up to Rs 21,000 crore at the company’s extraordinary general meeting held on January 3. The move will allow the telco to raise Rs 14,000 crore in equity, , according to a regulatory filing by the company, and an additional Rs 7,000 crore in debt, according to news agency PTI. Read it here

Exclusive: Manish Tewari to replace S. Jothi Mani in the Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP Bill

You are reading it here first: Congress Lok Sabha MP S. Jothi Mani has submitted her resignation from the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, Mani told MediaNama. She will be replaced by Congress MP Manish Tewari, she said. Read it here

Regulatory governance under the PDP Bill: A powerful ship with an unchecked captain?

If the ship here is a metaphor for the rights and obligations offered by the draft Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP Bill) and the Data Protection Authority of India (DPA) as its captain, where does the current draft of the Bill leave us? Is it a good ship with a good captain or does it place the wheels of a powerful untested machine into the hands of an untrained and unchecked captain? Read it here

Nepali Committee passes controversial IT Bill that ‘curtails freedom of expression’

The Development and Technology Committee of the Nepal’s House of Representatives, the Lower House of the nation’s Parliament, on December 30, 2019, passed the Information Technology Bill, reported The Himalayan Times. Read it here

Delhi HC issues notice to MeitY and Twitter on the suspension of Sanjay Hegde’s account

The Delhi High Court, on January 6, issued a notice to the Ministry of Electronics and Technology (MeitY) and Twitter, seeking their stance on the petition filed by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, reported the Economic Times. Read it here

Facebook’s crackdown on deepfakes comes with potential caveats

Update: Following Facebook’s announcement that it would take down videos that have been edited beyond adjustments for clarity or quality using artificial intelligence/machine learning, MediaNama had asked the platform if they would take down Mark Zuckerberg’s doctored video where he was seemingly made to deliver a speech on power, since the new policy doesn’t apply to parody or satirical videos. Read it here

Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Looking at social media intermediaries and significant data fiduciaries

The story of internet penetration in India coinciding with the boom in mobile telephony implies that most users in India access internet only through smartphones. While no doubt, this may facilitate access to the internet at an unprecedented scale, it also calls for attention to the typical user behaviour whereby consumers unwittingly agree to submit their personal information to social media apps and other similar platforms, for free use of their services. Read it here

Prominent internet leaders form entity to tackle .ORG’s sale to private firm

After the sale of Public Interest Registry (PIR), the nonprofit corporation which maintains the .ORG domain to private equity firm Ethos Capital in November 2019, a group of internet and non-profit leaders have filed incorporation papers to form a new entity to stop the sale. Read it here