In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 16th February 2020

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RBI proposes setting up a self regulatory body for digital payments ecosystem

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed setting up a self-regulatory organisation “for orderly operations of the entities in the payment system” which will serve as a two-way communication channel between the industry and the regulator, in its statement on developmental and regulatory policies. Read it here

India added 1 million credit cards, debit cards declined by 12.8 million in November 2019

In November 2019, the number of debit cards stood at 830.8 million, a decline of 12.86 million cards over October 2019. At the same time, a total of 54.4 million credit cards were in operation, with 1 million cards added over October 2019, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Read it here

CASC files interim application in SC against WhatsApp payments go-ahead

Delhi-based thinktank Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change said WhatsApp’s “unlawful trials” for its payments services should stop, and that the RBI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) should put on record the permission granted for the pilot, including all communication between RBI, NPCI and WhatsApp regarding the same. Read it here

‘Banning Huawei discriminatory and protectionist,’ China tells France

The Chinese embassy in France has said that if the country wants to impose constraints on Huawei, it should do so based on the reality of facts, because treating Huawei differently would mean blatant discrimination and disguided protectionism. Read it here

FTC will review unreported acquisitions made by the Big Tech between 2010-19

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), on February 11, ordered Alphabet (including Google), Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple “to provide information about prior acquisitions not reported to the antitrust agencies under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act”. Read it here

Google Nest makes two-factor authentication mandatory starting spring

Starting spring this year, all users of Google Nest (Google’s subsidiary that sells smart home products) will be required to enroll for two-factor authentication to reduce the likelihood of unauthorized persons gaining access to a Nest account, Google Nest’s head of security announced in a blog post on February 11. Read it here

IFF writes to Justice AP Shah raising concerns about new IAMAI Code

The Internet Freedom Foundation*, a digital rights non-profit based in India, has written to Justice AP Shah, Chairman of the IAMAI’s controversial Digital Content Complaints Council (DCCC) and new content code (download), raising concerns about the changes in the code (which we reported here), and the opacity of the process (which we had reported here). Read it here

RBI proposes to set up new entity for retail payment systems, invites comments

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed setting up of a new pan-India umbrella entity (NUE) for retail payment systems, which will be responsible for setting up, managing and operating new payment systems, especially in the retail space, including ATMs, White Label PoS, Aadhaar based payments and remittance services. Read it here

Delhi Police division denies it used drones to film CAA protestors

The Delhi Police, in response to two Right to Information requests filed by MediaNama about its usage of drones to film protestors of the Citizenship Amendment Act, has given the following responses: Read it here

US Senators write to Pompeo about NRC, CAA and internet restrictions in Kashmir

Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s first visit to India, four US Senators – Republicans and Democrats- have asked the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo for an assessment of the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, including the Indian government’s restrictions on internet and cellular services, following the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year. Read it here