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Daily Digest of Tech Policy News And Updates (May 14, 2021)

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

E-commerce services face hurdles in Assam, Maharashtra amidst restrictions

E-commerce companies are running into hurdles with providing services in different states, most recently in Assam and Maharashtra. In Maharashtra, the state government has said that the drivers and helpers of goods carrier entering the state must carry a negative RT-PCT report that is less than 48 hours old; and which will only be valid for seven days. This comes into effect on May 15. Assam has imposed more restrictions given rising cases; it has permitted movement of individuals only between 5 am to 2 pm and has introduced an odd-even formula for private vehicles movement. Read more at the Economic Times.

IAMAI, iSPIRT to bid for SRO for payments

Industry body IAMAI is preparing a proposal led by the Payments Council of India to bid for the self-regulatory organisation framework for digital payments; the Indian Banks’ Association will also considering joining this bid. Bangalore-based thinktank iSPIRT is also reportedly preparing a bid through Digital Collective for Empowerment (DICE). More at the Economic Times.

UK contact tracing app prevented infections, deaths

The UK’s contact tracing app had a significant impact on lowering the spread of the coronavirus in the country, according to a research paper. “On average, each confirmed case who consented to notification of their contacts through the app prevented one new case,” the paper claims. The paper covers the time between the app’s launch in September 2020 until the end of 2020 when it was “used regularly” by 16.5 million people or 28% of the country’s population. More on BBC News.

US judge dismissed antitrust case against Google

A US judge dismissed antitrust claims against Google brought by a group of advertisers, but offered them a chance to try again after addressing “serious concerns”.

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The advertisers had accused Google of abusing its dominance in digital advertising; the judge said the plaintiffs needed to clarify what market they think Google monopolises. She said the court was particularly concerned that the advertisers’ case excluded social media display advertising and direct negotiations. They also need to better explain why Google’s refusal to support rival systems is anticompetitive, because antitrust laws in the US require monopolists to help competitors survive. More on Reuters.

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