What’s the news: The Indian government may hold “Internet and social media firms accountable” for their algorithms that tailor content based on users’ specific browsing history and profiles, the Economic Times (ET) reported on December 6, 2022. Officials speaking to ET said that the government is considering the inclusion of such a proposal in the soon-to-be-released Digital India Act (DIA). Such an inclusion will make India one of the first countries to mandate legal oversight of these proprietary codes. ET’s sources also mentioned other provisions in the Bill like the use of emerging technologies such as advanced quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse. The rules will shortly be sent to the Law Ministry for review before it is made available for public consultation. The new law will replace the Information Technology Act, 2000. Why it matters: Officials told ET the draft Bill is modelled after the new Telecom Bill and the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill, 2022. Government officials said the Bill will be “simple and concise” and will allow for executive rulemaking. However, experts have already voiced concerns about the draft laws on which the Digital Media Act is set to be modelled. MediaNama’s extensive analysis on the Bills have also concluded with concerns about the concentration of power in the hands of the government while diluting or overlooking basic digital rights of citizens. Regulation on companies processing data: The draft law will regulate how “large internet firms” process data “to ensure they do not identify an…
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