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Daily Digest Of Tech Policy News And Updates (April 16, 2021)

Bringing you quick updates on the tech space, policy making and digital rights from India and across the globe.

Australia finds Google mislead users about location data collection

Australia has found that that Google misled consumers about personal location data collected via Android devices, reported Reuters. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the court found Google wrongly claim that it could collect information from the location history setting on user devices between January 2017 and December 2018. But a setting when turned on, also enabled Google to collect, store, and use the data and was turned on by default on the devices.

Users were also not informed that turning off location history but leaving the “Web & App Activity” setting on would allow Google to continue to collect data, the court found. The regulator said it would seek penalties; Google is considering options, including a possible appeal.

Top Stories from MediaNama

  1. Key highlights from Asmbhav: Retailers are now impatient with govt, call for them to intervene
    • 9 brick-and-mortar retailers’ organisations from across the country met before Amazon’s Smbhav event on Thursday kicked off. Ashwani Mahajan from Swadeshi Jagran Manch said India’s regulators have failed to enforce the government’s existing e-commerce regulations.
    • India’s competition laws will be refreshed, Mahajan said. He didn’t pull any punches on the CCI.
    • AIOVA is really upset with the government. The government has no included sellers in any conversations. “Our government wants to run e-commerce in the country only through these two-three companies,” a spokesperson said.
  2. Users complain Net4 domains are offline: Several people took to Twitter on Thursday complaining that their websites registered with Net 4 India went offline. The company, which is current embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), seems to have cut off their clients’ website without prior notice.
  3. Summary of the Draft Implementation Strategy of the National Digital Health Mission: The National Health Authority (NHA) last month released the Draft Implementation Strategy for the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), laying out the government’s plans to implement the objectives of the NDHM. This crucial document was listed for merely a week of public consultation between March 22 to March 29 and it flew under the radar as it was listed as a submenu link on the NDHM website without any other intimation.

Flipkart, Amazon allow only non-essential items in Maharashtra

Flipkart, Amazon, and JioMart have suspended orders for non-essential products in Maharashtra, following the state government’s fresh restrictions which permit delivery of only essential items, reported The Economic Times. The e-commerce industry is now making representations through NASSCOM, FICCI, and CII to the state government as well as the Union Home Ministry seeking reversal of the order.

A notice on Amazon’s website read, “In light of the latest government guidelines, we are taking orders of essential products only. Deliveries may take longer than normal”. Flipkart shows most non-essential items are “not deliverable”.

India at 49th spot on internet inclusion globally: Facebook study

India is at a dismal 49th spot globally when it comes to internet inclusion and gender equality in accessing the world wide web, a Facebook-Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study has revealed. India stands 49th, tied with Thailand, in 2021 on the scores of internet availability (77th), affordability (20th), relevance (49th) and readiness (29th) categories.

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The Facebook ‘Inclusive Internet Index’ looked at 120 countries, representing 98% of global GDP and 96% of the world’s population.

“India’s glaring underperformance in the availability pillar is, in large part, the reason for its placement, and this weak performance is owed to low internet usage and quality and widening gender gap in mobile phone and internet access in the country,” per the report.

Prime has 200 million subscribers globally: Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said on Thursday that Amazon Prime now has over 200 million subscribers, meaning that 50 million subscribers have been added since the beginning of 2020.
  • Over 1.9 million small and medium businesses sell on Amazon
  • 100 million smart home devices are connected to Alexa
  • Total capitalised cost of music and video content for the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, was $6.8 billion, up 17% from last year
  • The company spent $11 billion on TV series, movies, and music for its Prime services last year, an increase of 41% from 2019

RBL Bank and Mastercard launch app for contactless payments

RBL Bank and Mastercard on Thursday announced a partnership to launch a mobile payments app that allows account holders to carry out contactless payments. The Pay by Bank App will also offer personalised transaction controls that enable a bank’s customers to dictate how, where, and when their credentials are used. RBL Bank said it has 9.08 million customers, 403 branches, 1,344 business correspondent branches, and 412 ATMs.

Written By

I cover health, policy issues such as intermediary liability, data governance, internet shutdowns, and more. Hit me up for tips.

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



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