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MediaNama Daily: Caught red-handed

“AI fake problem”, what’s up with TikTok in the US, Bengaluru-based ride-hailing app Namma Yatri joins ONDC, and more.

🥇If There’s One Story To Read Today 

Another wake-up call for Indian authorities to better protect citizens’ data

Is my personal data also highly vulnerable to leaks and theft? A worry that may be bothering many Indians who are aware of the stunning data-theft cases keeping cyber-crime cops on their toes these days. In the latest matter, the Cyberabad police have busted a gang, which stole and sold personal data of at least 16.8 Crore Indians. Scary, isn’t it?

It’s hard to imagine strangers having loads of information on you without your knowledge. But, we can’t really talk about consent when India doesn’t even have a data protection law to address it. From information on the financial health of an individual to their social media profiles, a lot is out there for cyber-criminals to prey upon and exploit it for their advantages.

This is yet another reminder that something is wrong with the way our data is handled in different institutions. Who are these people who are operating to find lapses and abuse them? Read this 3-minute story to find out.

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🗓 Your Tech Policy Agenda

  • Exploring AI: FutureFantastic is an AI and new media arts festival in India being held at Bangalore International Centre (BIC) from March 24-26. Aarathi from MediaNama will also be a part of the panel discussion on ‘Generative AI for the 21st Century’! Click here to know more and register here to attend the event. 
  • Digital Solutions: Convergence India Expo, 2023, has carefully curated co-located expos—IoT India, Embedded Tech India, Mobile India, Fintech India & Digital Gaming India. To experience the entire gamut of digital solutions, book your tickets to be at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on 27-29 March. Pre-register here.
  • FOSS Summit: Businesses, developers, and tech communities will come together to discuss the latest developments in open source at the FOSSASIA Summit from April 13-15, 2023. Register here.

🚨Today’s Top Stories


It’s still a human’s job: Who is accountable if one is scammed by an AI chatbot? The US Federal Trade Commission keeps it simple stating that if the company that created the AI product has not taken enough measures to prevent user harm, it will have to bear the consequences. In its latest blogpost, an indulging one by the way, the body talks about the “AI fake problem”. Check out what that is. [Read 🔒, 3 minutes

Is TikTok nearing its end in the US: It is clear that the Americans are not a fan of China’s growing clout. They are leaving no stone unturned to maintain their hegemony because hegemons gonna “hegemon” but this targeting of TikTok seems rather ill-conceived because how is TikTok any different from Meta in terms of threat posed by it? It should be the practice of data brokering that must be examined first. [Read 🔒, 3 minutes]


Can Namma Yatri solve your ride hailing troubles? A new ride-hailing app has been the talk of the (Bangalore) town recently. Called Namma Yatri, the auto booking app is gaining popularity among drivers because it charges them zero commission. To add to the buzz, ONDC yesterday announced that Namma Yatri has joined the network. But how does the app make money if it doesn’t charge a commission? While we put on our investigative hats to explore that question, here is a primer on what the app is, who is behind it, what it means for ONDC, and more. [Read, 4 minutes]

Free delivery in danger! Are you tired of being lured in by the promise of “free delivery,” only to find hidden fees and minimum purchase requirements lurking around every corner? Well, you’re not alone. Online retailers are finally coming to terms with the fact that free delivery is not sustainable, and they’re scrambling to shift the costs onto us, the customers. So, if you’re looking to avoid these sneaky charges, you may need to start walking to the store instead. [Read, 3 minutes]

🌏 Tech Policy from Around the World

Venture capitalists race to land next AI deal on Big Tech’s turf [Read] [Krystal Hu, Jeffrey Dastin/Reuters]

UK regulator drops some competition concerns in Microsoft-Activision deal [Read] (Sarah Young/Reuters]

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Binance halts deposits, withdrawals on glitches in spot trading [Read] (Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat/Reuters]

Crackdown on Kids Using Social Media Brings Privacy Concerns [Read] (Drake Bennett/Bloomberg)

Twitter to Begin Culling Legacy Verified Marks From April 1 [Read] (Vlad Savov/Bloomberg)

The Linus Tech Tips YouTube hack is the latest in a line of crypto scam breaches [Read] (Tom Warren/The Verge)

The FTC wants to ban those tough-to-cancel gym and cable subscriptions [Read] (Adi Robertson/The Verge)

Enter the Objaverse: 800,000 virtual props for AIs to play with [Read] (Devin Coldewey/TechCrunch)

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



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