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TLDR: Flipkart, Amazon, ONDC, Google Play Store, UPI, Vodafone, Zoom, e-commerce

Reliance, Amazon, and Flipkart may be part of ONDC

The Open Network for Digital Commerce is a UPI moment for the e-commerce industry and looks to move the business of 1.2 crore kirana stores online. It is also the Indian government’s way of undercutting the dominance of large e-commerce firms like Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart. However, the two companies along with Reliance Retail are in talks to join the ONDC ecosystem, Economic Times reported citing sources.

Government’s stake in Vodafone Idea comes up to 33 percent

After swapping Vodafone Idea’s accrued interest liability on deferred dues for equity, the Indian government will own 33% of the telecom network making it the largest shareholder, Vi Managing Director Ravinder Takkar reportedly said during a quarterly earnings call. Over 50% of the company’s stakes are split between UK-based Vodafone Plc and India’s Aditya Birla Group (ABG), as per ET.

Google to pull third-party call recording apps from Play Store 

Google’s Play Store policy has been revised to ban third-party call recording apps, according to a Mint report. The ban is a result of Google limiting developers’ access to its Accessibility API – which only apps that are designed to support people with disabilities are allowed to use. However, the policy change will have no bearing on default dialer apps that come pre-installed on devices such as Pixel and Xiaomi smartphones.

Majority of UPI transactions were P2P payments last month

Over 588 crore UPI transactions were carried out in April 2022 and their total value came up to be Rs 9.83 lakh crores, out of which 82% (or Rs 8.05 lakh crores) were a result of peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, Inc42 said in its report. Meanwhile, peer-to-merchant (P2M) transactions in the same month made up 18% (or Rs 1.77 lakh crores) of the total value.

ADIF officially joins antitrust probe of Apple’s App Store practices

The startup industry body Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) has become a party to the Competition Commission of India’s investigation into whether Apple abused its dominance in the app distribution market for iOS devices, as per The HinduBusinessline. The investigation was ordered based on a complaint lodged by a non-profit called Together We Fight Society (TWFS) in August.

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Driverless cars double as surveillance tools for San Fransicso PD

Vice report has revealed that driverless cars that are generally fitted with video cameras in order to capture surroundings for operational purposes, could serve as mobile surveillance cameras for police departments. The use of these autonomous vehicles to help with investigations has been reportedly encouraged in an internal document obtained by the news outlet.

Human rights groups oppose Zoom’s emotional AI plans

Zoom’s controversial decision to incorporate emotional AI features in its software is facing pushback from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and 24 other organisations advocating for digital rights, Protocol reported. If rolled out, the AI would be capable of detecting and analysing people’s moods and emotions during virtual meetings. What is problematic about it? “Zoom’s use of this software gives credence to the pseudoscience of emotion analysis which experts agree does not work. Facial expressions can vary significantly and are often disconnected from the emotions underneath such that even humans are often not able to accurately decipher them,” read the letter written by the band of organisations.

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