Data Protection & PrivacyInformation TechnologyPlan C

Technology Law & Policy News, 2021 : Plan C

Plan C is an endeavor of the contributors at My Lawrd to track recent developments in the Indian technology law and policy space. During many of our research projects, we felt an urge to consolidate recent developments for convenience, reliability, and efficiency. Although the so aggregated information was initially thought to be used within our organization, our kind contributors, who also happen to be passionate about the technology law community, decided to share this information with you folks! So here’s what’s happening in Technology Law and Policy in 2021. Happy reading & researching!

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Date: 08.06.2021 

“Petition in Supreme Court to direct inquiry into the Tablighi Jamaat case” 

A petition has filed in Supreme Court asking the court to direct inquiry into the Tablighi Jamaat case as well as the central government to draft rules pertaining to hate massages directed at religious community. The petitioner has asked the court for direct the Government to restrain all online social media networks from caring messages hurting or insulting the feelings of any religious community. There is also the absence of guidelines in the IT Act to stop crimes against religion. 


Date: 08.06.2021 

“Supreme Court releases Draft Rules for Live Streaming of Court Proceedings” 

Under the National Policy and Action Plane for the implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian judiciary, E- committee of the supreme court of India has released the draft modal rules for live streaming and recording of court proceedings. They invite feedback and suggestion from all the stakeholders. According to draft rule, there is a dedicated control room with technical expertise. It takes into account the concern of privacy and confidentiality of litigants and witnesses. 


Date: 08.06.2021 

“Big Tech Said to Support Global Corporate Tax, but Wants Digital Services Levies Axed” 

US tech giants could benefit from the agreement of the Group of Seven rich countries’ agreement to create a global minimum 15 percent corporate tax rate if the final deal also scraps increasingly popular digital services taxes, as per industry lobbyists. The deal was designed to reduce companies’ incentives to shift profits to low-tax offshore havens and could bring hundreds of billions of dollars into government coffers. Levied on revenue rather than profit, the taxes have become an increasingly popular way for countries to balance their budgets. Facebook and Google praised the deal. They hope countries continue to work together to ensure a balanced and durable agreement which is to be finalized soon. In the past 5 to 10 years, big companies had been targeted by “discriminatory digital services taxes”. They wanted a different system for taxing corporations. More taxes mean higher costs for consumers and less R&D spending, at the same time the administration and Congress are clamoring for more R&D to compete with China. 


Date: 08.06.2021 

“Twitter Said to Seek More Time from Government to Comply with New IT Rules Due to COVID-19 Pandemic” 

Last week the government issued a strongly-worded final notice to twitter regarding its non-compliance with the new rules. Twitter has now approached the government seeking more time to comply with the new IT rules. While Twitter intends to comply with the rules it needs more time due to the pandemic situation. MeitY in its notice had said that Twitter’s refusal to comply with the rules demonstrated the micro-blogging site’s “lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform”. Non-compliance with the rules would result in these platforms losing their intermediary status that provides them immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints. 


Date: 08.06.2021 

“SBI Union, Others Urge Central Bank to Scrap Digital Payments Plan, Letter Shows” 

A union representing India’s largest state-run bank and a global alliance have asked the central bank to bar large companies from setting up payment networks, saying in a letter on Tuesday. The reason being that privatization could compromise data safety. Involvement of big multi-national companies raises fears of abuse of user data and India’s digital payment networks should continue to operate on a non-profit basis, the All-India State Bank of India (SBI) Staff Federation and the UNI Global Union, a vocal critic of tech giants, wrote in the letter. 


Date: 08.06.2021 

“U.S. Senate set to pass sweeping bill to address China tech threat” 

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday is set to approve a sweeping package of legislation intended to eared a procedural vote 68-30 in late May and is expected to win final approval after a couple of votes on outstanding issues.  U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Rai boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology. The nearly $250 billion bill cl mondo has said the funding could result in seven to 10 new U.S. semiconductor plants. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who co-sponsored the legislation, said the United States spends less than 1% of gross domestic product on basic scientific research, less than half of what China does. 


Date: 07.06.2021 

“US Expands Ban on Investment in Chinese Companies to Cover Surveillance Sector” 

The US government expanded the ban on Americans investing in Chinese companies with supposed ties to China’s military to cover companies in the surveillance technology sector. The blacklist now includes 59 Chinese companies, up from the 48 banned by the previous administration last November. The new sanctions go into effect on August 2 and Americans already invested in the blacklisted firms, either directly or through other funds, must divest themselves within a year. The US government has also indicated that additional companies may be added to the list in the coming months


Date: 07.06.2021 

“ISOC: Undermining Encryption Can Cause Economic Harm to Countries” 

Sydney-based Law and Economics Consulting Associates said in a report dated April 5 that laws undermining encryption could cause serious economic harm to countries that pass such legislation, and that this damage might spread worldwide too. The report, commissioned by the Internet Society (ISOC), studied the impact of Australia’s Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 [TOLA], which empowers law enforcement to obtain tech companies’ help to access encrypted communications. 


Date: 07.06.2021 

“China blocks several cryptocurrencies related social media accounts amid crackdown” 

Multiple crypto-related accounts in China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform were blocked recently. A message saying each account “violates laws and rules,” pops up on accessing these accounts. These actions come in light of the increase in crackdown on bitcoin trading and mining. The stepped-up crackdown also comes as China’s central bank is accelerating testing of its own digital currency. It is anticipated that actions such as linking illegal crypto activities in China more directly with the country’s criminal law will be made. Moreover, it is expected that China’s supreme court will soon publish a judicial interpretation that may link crypto mining and trading businesses with China’s body of criminal law. 


Date: 07.06.2021 

“U.S. officials up pressure on firms, foreign adversaries over cyberattack” 

With multiple cyber-attacks on various entities such as the world’s largest meatpacker and the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, the U.S. officials have ratcheted up the pressure on companies and foreign adversaries to fight cybercriminals. President Biden is considering all options, including a military response, to counter the growing threat. The rising threat of cyberattacks has pushed the Biden administration into a more aggressive stance against Russia, which is thought to be harboring some of the perpetrators. Thus, effectively putting it on the agenda for Biden’s meeting with Putin. U.S. officials are asking private companies to be more vigilant and transparent about attacks.  


Date: 07.06.2021 

“About ‘last notice’ & Twitter’s failure to comply with the intermediary rules” 

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) send the last notice to Twitter’s deputy general counsel Jim Baker to comply with the new intermediary rules. Twitter said through a press released that the present regulations hinder free and open public conversations and also concern about the safety of its employees in India. According to the new rule, there is an appointment of a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules. It’s also includes the appointment of a grievance officer. If Twitter doesn’t apply then there is no ban under section 79 of the information and technology Act which provides that any intermediary from liability if it performs the required due diligence. 


Date: 04.06.2021 

“RBI announces another On-Tap liquidity Window, 24*7 Automated Clearing” 

The RBI had decided to open an on-tap liquidity window of Rs. 50,000 crores with tenors of up to three years. NPCI operates a bulk payment system by NACH. It facilitates one-to-many credit transfers. The central bank decided to open a separate liquidity window of Rs 15000 crore for certain contact intensive sectors such as hotels and restaurants, tourism, aviation ancillary services, transport, etc. The tenor will be up to three years. 


Date: 04.06.2021 

“Epic vs Apple: All you need to know about the Fornite Antitrust Trial” 

Epic vs. Apple addresses two issues: first, whether the App Store’s market for in-app purchases is unfairly monopolistic? Second, if iOS is a monopoly that should be opened up to third-party shops and side-loaded software? Cook addressed these issues by emphasizing the importance of user security and privacy. 


Date: 03.06.2021 

“RBI raises heat on foreign banks over data storage norms violations” 

The Reserve Bank of India has said in a recent communication that many banks are yet to submit system audit reports certifying compliance to data storage rules, even though it issued the circular three years ago. The RBI has reportedly pulled up multiple banks for failing to comply with the data storage rules. Last month, the Central Bank stopped American Express and Diners Club from onboarding new members, citing violation of the rules. 


Date: 03.06.2021 

“SEBI issues guidance on electronic signatures & portfolio management agreement” 

SEBI has issued a clarification with regard to affixation of electronic signatures on a portfolio management agreement. Portfolio Managers are registered and regulated under the SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations 1993. They manage funds or portfolios for clients and their relationship is specified in the agreement signed between the portfolio manager and the client. Since the entire client onboarding process in totally electronic, clients put electronic signatures on such a portfolio management agreement.


Date: 03.06.2021 

“Intermediary rules not applicable to search engine: Google” 

Google has argued that the new intermediary rules do not apply to its Google search engine in an appeal to the order by a single judge bench of the Delhi High Court. The order applied the Intermediary rules to the company and ordered removal of offensive content from the internet. While Google has no issues in complying with the court’s order, it is aggrieved by the mischaracterization of its search engine as a “social media intermediary” or “major social media intermediary” in the ruling. According to Google, the Delhi High Court order has cast certain obligations that would wrongly classify Google Search as a social media intermediary. The next hearing is on 25th July. 


Date: 03.06.2021 

“Must disclose advertisements clearly: Influencer Marketing Guidelines” 

The influencer marketing guidelines released by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), require that the influencers must label branded posts if they have a material relationship with the marketers. This is to maintain transparency and protect consumers’ interests. Both parties would be held liable in case of non-observance of the guidelines. The disclosure label must be clear, distinct, and visible (not buried underneath hashtags), as well as where, how, and for how long it must appear. AI-enabled solutions from Reech will be used to detect potential violation of the guidelines. The issue arises with the nature of ASCI. It is a self-regulatory organisation with no legally binding norm. While, ASCI can request influencers who do not follow the new guidelines to make revisions or remove the post, it cannot compel them to do so. 


Date: 03.06.2021 

“Indians can now pay in UAE through RuPay card or contactless application” 

Network International, Middle East and Africa’s (MEA) leading digital commerce facilitator, has announced plans to increase merchant acceptance of India’s local payment system, RuPay. Indians can now pay in UAE using a RuPay card or contactless application. Mercury Payments Services, the UAE’s first domestic card payment scheme, is driving the collaboration between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India, and Network International, the UAE’s largest merchant acquirer. Indian travelers will be able to pay at Network’s wide merchant network across the seven emirates using their RuPay card or contactless app


Date: 03.06.2021 

“Draft Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) Regulations, 2021: Overview” 

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) put out the Draft Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) Regulations, 2021, on May 20th. The Draft Regulations talk about a number of things such as ANCS Tokens, Authentication, Offline Verification, Modes of Authentication, Virtual ID (VID), Consent of the Aadhar Holder, Devices and applications used in authentication, Biometric Locking, Aadhar Locking and many more. The maintenance of authentication logs will be for two years, archival for next 5 years, and deletion post that. There is also a provision for audit of requesting entities, authentication service agencies, and offline verification seeking entities. An Aadhaar holder shall have the right to access his authentication records subject to payment of fees prescribed by UIDAI. 


Date: 03.06.2021 

“RBI asks banks not to stop customers & exchanges from dealing in crypto” 

After reports that several banks are forcing crypto exchanges and traders to stop trading in cryptocurrency, the Reserve Bank of India has finally issued a compliance note. Acknowledging media reports that certain banks have cautioned their customers against dealing in crypto, RBI has clarified that the old 2018 circular that the banks are referring to is no more in effect. The RBI, however, asked banks and other entities to continue to carry out customer due diligence in line with KYC, Anti Money Laundering, Combating of Financing of Terrorism as well as PMLA Act, 2002 and FEMA. 


Date: 03.06.2021 

“IAMAI forms Digital Publishers Content Grievances Council for OTTs” 

Pursuant to the mandate of new intermediary rules for OTTs to abide by a three-tier grievance redressal system, the Internet ad Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has formed the Digital Publishers Content Grievances Council. The council is formed under Rule 12 of the new intermediary rules and is a tier-II body. The council will comprise an OCCP (Original Curated Content Publishers) Council and an independent Grievance Redressal Board. IMAI has confirmed participation of 10 publishers including Alt Balaji, Amazon Prime Video, Arha Media, Firework, Hoichoi, Hungama, Lionsgate Play, MX Player, Netflix, and Shemaroo. 


Date: 03.06.2021 

“Dunzo announces delivery of medicines through drones” 

Dunzo has announced that it will start delivery of medicines through drones. It will do so under the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project launched by the Telangana government in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. Last month, The Ministry of Civil Aviation had granted conditional exemption for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) experimental flights of drones. The Ministry had received 34 Expression of Interest (EoI) for the experimental flights. Dunzo Air Consortium was one of the applicants. As per Gadgets 360, the drone delivery system will focus on an end-to-end ecosystem for drone-based logistic transportation. It will utilize the existing logistics network of Telangana to enable medical supplies in different districts of the state. 


Date: 28.05.2021 

“Centre revises the Co-WIN APIs Guidelines, will ease vaccination booking” 

The Centre has revised its Co-WIN API guidelines. The revised guidelines allow citizens to book vaccination slots through third-party applications. The government had declared in April that it does not want to release Co-WIN APIs because they deal with sensitive data. However, the government changed its mind and decided to open up a few APIs.  The revised guidelines will ease both the service providers and citizens to scale the vaccination drive. 


Date: 28.05.2021 

“A timeline of the new Intermediary rules conflict, event wise” 

February 26, 2021– The Ministry of Information & Technology notified the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021; for which the last date for compliance was by 25th May 2021.  

26.05.2021– Facebook and Google say they are ready to comply with new intermediary rules. But WhatsApp challenges the rules in the Delhi High Court. 25.05.2021– WhatsApp in its submissions before the Delhi High Court stated that new rules would lead to the breaking of encryption and the new rules harm the privacy of the citizens. 21.05.2021- Government issues an advisory to all social media intermediaries to cub misinformation on COVID-19 and further asks Twitter to remove the “manipulated media” tag from Sambit Patra’s tweet. 20.05.2021– Several RTIs disclose that Government’s legal advisors had suggested a parliamentary approval of the new intermediary rules. 20.05.2021– Congress files a complaint against BJP leaders for tweeting forged documents. 23.03.2021 The government suggests an Alpha-Numeric Hash System to trace the origin of messages. With this system implemented, WhatsApp can trace the message’s originator without breaking encryption. 


Date: 28.05.2021 

“Centre’s response to WhatsApp: respects privacy but it’s not absolute” 

In its response to WhatsApp, the Government has clarified that it respects the right to privacy but it is not an absolute right. The government further stated that none of the new measures will have any effect on WhatsApp’s normal operation. This comes in response to the lawsuit filed by WhatsApp against the Indian government. WhatsApp claims that the new rules will force it to make conversations “traceable” to third parties. This would violate the privacy of the users. To stop the government from enforcing the restrictions issued earlier this year, WhatsApp filed a case in the Delhi High Court. The government further stated that the rules enacted in the public interest are not rules enacted in isolation but have global precedence. The government further cited the arrangements of different jurisdiction where authorities have issued tech companies to include mechanisms in the design of their encrypted products and services.  


Date: 28.05.2021 

“Florida’s new Law stops Big Tech from banning politicians” 

The State of Florida has passed a bill aimed to stop big tech platforms from banning politicians. The law seeks to make big tech platforms more accountable for their content decisions. The law comes in the backdrop of the infamous ban on former President Donald Trump by social media companies. The new law will prohibit companies from banning any Florida political candidate. It says that large social-media platforms may not ban or delete the account of a Florida political candidate for more than 14 days. The law also protects journalists and journalistic enterprises. It outlaws censoring or de-platforming journalistic entities based on content. The law also lays down a fine of $250,000 per day for any violation.


Date: 28.05.2021 

“Government approves 166 additional Green Zone Sites for Drones” 

Green zones are essentially uncontrolled airspaces where an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service is not necessary. The Ministry of Civil Aviation on 27th May 2021, approved 166 additional green zone sites across the country for the operation of drones, bringing the total tally to 232 green sites. This is to facilitate operations of “No Permission No Take-off” (NPNT) compliant drones. No Permission – No Take-Off, or NPNT, is a software that allows every Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) [excluding Nano] to receive legal authorization through the digital sky platform before operating in India. Drones can pose a security issue because they exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from micro to enormous. If an NPNT-compliant drone tries to break the geographical limit, the drone’s software will force it to return home (RTH). 


Date: 28.05.2021 

“Internet Explorer is dead, & these Privacy Focused Browsers should replace it” 

Microsoft has announced that it will end support for Internet Explorer by June 2022.  It will be integrated into Microsoft Edge via an in-browser Internet Explorer mode, allowing organizations that are still relying on the out-of-date service to run critical apps in a virtual environment. Some of the best privacy-focused browsers that are a great alternative are Mozilla Firefox, Tor Browser, Brave and Epic Browser among others. 


Date: 27.05.2021 

“U.S. announces new security directives for pipelines after hack” 

The Colonial Pipeline was hacked for days in May. This disrupted fuel supplies in the southeastern United States. This forced it to shut much of its network for several days, leaving thousands of gas stations across the U.S. Southeast without fuel. The closure of the 8,900 km system was the most disruptive cyberattack on record, preventing millions of barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from flowing to the East Coast from the Gulf Coast. As a result, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a new security directive for pipeline owners and operators on 27th May 2021. Owners and operators of critical pipelines will be required to report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents to the department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The hackers successfully extorted millions of dollars in digital currency. The incident has bumped the cybersecurity of critical U.S. infrastructure to the top of the national agenda. 


Date: 27.05.2021 

“Facebook may restrict accounts that repeatedly spread misinformation” 

Facebook is introducing penalties to tackle offenders by restricting their accounts. Facebook will be cutting down the reach of those posts shared by a person who has a history of sharing misinformation as per the fact-checking partners of the firm. So, the reach of the flagged post is lower from that individual on users’ News Feed. Facebook is also launching an improvement alert tool that notifies users if they’re engaging with content that has been rated by a fact-checking partner. The new update is said to make it easier for anyone to identify that the information could be unreliable. Facebook wants to provide helpful information with a pop-up to users before they hit like on a page that has repeatedly shared content that fact-checkers have rated. The notification will include the fact-checkers’ article with corrected facts debunking the claims made in the other article with a prompt to share the right article with their connections. It also includes a notification alerting users who share false information may have their posts ranked lower in News Feed so that it’s not seen by a large number of people. 


Date: 27.05.2021 

Iran bans cryptocurrency mining for 4 months amid power cuts 

 Iran has banned the energy-intensive mining of cryptocurrencies until September 22. This move comes in the backdrop of Iran facing major power blackouts in many cities. Mining is the process for creating cryptocurrency. The process of mining is highly energy-intensive, often relying on electricity generated by fossil fuels, which Iran is rich in. The government has blamed the power cuts on cryptocurrency mining, drought and surging electricity demand in summer. 4.5% of all Bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, allowing it to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from cryptocurrencies that can be used to lessen the impact of U.S. sanctions. Iran offers cheap power and requires miners to sell their bitcoins to the central bank. It allows cryptocurrencies mined in Iran to be used to pay for imports of authorized goods. 


Date: 26.05.2021 

Florida’s New Law Bars Twitter, Facebook and Others from Blocking Political Candidates 

On 24th May, 2021, the Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill aimed at making big tech platforms more accountable for their content decisions. He said that the legislation could help conservatives defend themselves from unfair de-platforming and other online restrictions. The bill says that “social media platforms have unfairly censored, shadow banned [and] de-platformed” Floridians. The legislation would apply to companies with at least 100 million monthly users world-wide. 

Tech allies in Washington suggested the legislation is a violation of the companies’ First Amendment free-speech rights. Without some moderation by tech companies Florida’s law would allow foreign-extremist content, as well as violent and hateful speech and pornography, to flourish across the internet. The law also could face problems under Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act which gave the internet companies sweeping immunity from legal consequences of their users’ actions. 


Date: 26.05.2021 

Telangana Police Using Drones, In Some Cases with Sirens, To Identify Lockdown Violators 

A month ago, the Ministry of Civil Aviation allowed the federal and state police to act as the designated agency to grant permission to various entities looking to operate drones. The Telangana state police have been actively using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) across three districts with the aim of enforcing the lockdown rules. The drones are being used for patrolling and also to ensure proper implementation of COVID-19 lockdown regulations. A Police siren is also embedded into the drones. Drones help in reaching inaccessible places and in implementing the lockdown strictly. However, amidst this privacy concerns arise. Lack of a data protection law results in no recourse to the citizens. Since these bodies do not have to adhere to the UAS Rules 2021, privacy concerns are on a rise. 


Date: 26.05.2021 

Twitter India Partners with Razorpay to Enable Payments and Donations: Report 

Twitter India has partnered with Razorpay for the Tipping feature on its platform, the Economic Times reported. Twitter wants to enable users to make payments on its platform, through ‘Twitter Tip Jar’, to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) journalists, freelancers, content creators and other civil-society groups looking to mobilize funds. Twitter and other social media platforms have played an increasingly important role in India’s COVID-19 fight, helping ordinary citizens reach out to government officials, NGOs, activists and political actors for help. 


Date: 26.05.2021 

Delhi HC orders WhatsApp to stop illegal circulation of e-newspaper 

The Delhi High Court has granted an ex-partee injunction in favor of the Times of India (ToI). It has ordered WhatsApp and Telegram to restrict illegal circulation of ToI’s e-newspaper through their platforms. The media organization had sought an injunction under Section 14 of the Copyright Act, asking the court to restrain users from copying, re-producing and transmitting its e-newspaper in any manner, on WhatsApp and Telegram.  It’s important to note here that ToI owns a valid and subsisting copyright and trademark in its newspaper which it publishes through print or on its website. ToI stated to the court that it had noticed illegal circulation of its proprietary e-newspaper, which is usually available only after paying a subscription fee, by users of the messaging platforms as well as by other websites. Groups on WhatsApp and Telegram, and websites, were indulging in unauthorized and illegal transmission of the e-newspaper in PDF form on a daily basis


Date: 26.05.2021 

WhatsApp challenges the IT Rules in Delhi HC 

WhatsApp has challenged the new Information Technology Rules (IT Rules) in the Delhi High Court. May 26 2021 was the last date for a social media platform to comply with the new guidelines. WhatsApp in its submissions state that complying with new rules will violate citizen’s right to privacy. This is specific to the IT rules’ traceability mandate, the compliance with which would mean to break encryption. The Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, issued by the Ministry of Information and Technology, states that “significant social media intermediates” will lose the protection provided by Section 79 of the Information Technology Act if they do not comply with the guidelines.  


Date: 25.05.2021 

“Today’s informational politics: People are becoming more transparent to the state instead of the state to the people 

Private entities and regulated markets have their legitimate space and are necessary and essential. But the state has an equally necessary and essential role as well. But instead of making the state more transparent and accountable to the people, the current push in informational politics is all about making people more transparent to the state for control and to the private sector for profits. Aadhaar and India Stack are the digital face of the infamous ‘system’ that is now a part of the public discourse. What goes on behind this digital black-box is unknown to citizens. Supposed gains on corruption, like how much the PAN-Aadhaar linkage has reduced tax evasion and brought in black money, however, continue to remain a mystery. 


Date: 25.05.2021 

Banks add 4.3 million credit cards and 69.6 million debit cards during pandemic: RBI Data 

Banks issued 4.3 million new credit cards and 69.6 million debit cards between April 2020 and March 2021, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India. While the banks added 401,904 credit cards between February and March 2021, they added nearly 4.2 million debit cards in the same period. In March 2021, the value of credit card transactions was higher than those of the debit card transaction amounts.  


Date: 24.05.2021 

The Irish High Court serves injunction to Hackers, orders not to leak data.” 

The Irish Health Service was hit by a ransomware attack. Thus, Ireland’s national health and social service provider, the Health Service Executive (HSE) was forced to shut down. The attack has caused backlogs in emergency departments from Dublin to Galway. The attack was also affecting delays in Covid-19 test results, though a vaccine appointment system is still operational. The HSE is building a new network apart from the one that has been damaged.  It has also sought an injunction to stop the attackers from leaking any data and give them 42 days to identify themselves and appear in court. However, because of the anonymity, the injunction had to be put on a dark web domain assumed to be affiliated with the hacking organization. It’s a rare incidence of obtaining a court order against anonymous hackers but not the first. The hacking group has demanded a payment of $19,999,000 (over £13 million).


Date: 24.05.2021 

DoT proposes OTP based conversion of Prepaid connections to Post-paid.” 

The Department of Telecommunication on 21st May 2021, released a Proof of Concept for conversion of mobile connections from Prepaid to Post-paid and vice versa using an OTP based process. During the entire process, the SIM shall remain in the subscriber’s possession and no change of SIM shall be undertaken. The new process is not applicable to mobile connections of Jammu & Kashmir and Bulk mobile connections. It will be applicable to mobile connections issued by paper-based process, and e-KYC and D-KYC process. Thus, acting as an alternate process of conversion. The service provider is responsible in insuring that only bona fide subscribers use this form of conversion and there is no change in ownership and/or demographic details of the subscribers. They are also responsible for ensuring that any new restrictions imposed on Jammu and Kashmir (or other parts) are complied with. Any lapse will be the sole responsibility of the licensee.


Date: 21.5.2021 

NVIDIA dialing down its top-tier graphics cards to discourage crypto-mining 

Nvidia is trying to stop its chips from being used for crypto mining. Nvidia is a globally recognized chip maker specializing in GPUs (graphics processing units) and other essential components. The American giant leads the gaming industry and is known for ludicrous hardware that’s unlike any other. These graphics cards help cryptocurrency miners calculate hashes faster and earn big tokens on any blockchain that has a proof of work consensus mechanism. 


Date: 21.5.2021 

US introduces bills to secure Critical Information Infrastructure 

The US House Committee on Homeland Security has passed five bipartisan bills to strengthen defense capabilities against cyber-attacks targeting US organizations and critical information infrastructure. 


Date: 21.5.2021  

FBI receives record level of complaints for online scams, investment fraud 

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the principal law enforcement agency of the United States, has received a record 1 million complaints related to online scams and investment frauds in the last 14 months. According to the US agency, annual complaint volumes increased by close to 70% between 2019 and 2020. The most common crimes reported were phishing scams, schemes relating to non-payment or non-delivery, and extortion attempts.


Date: 21.05.2021 

Apple’s Tim Cook says ‘threat profile’ of iPhone justifies App Store rules   

iPhone maker’s app stored profit from developers such as Fortnite, a federal court judge asked Apple Chief executive Tim cook. Epic’s game has charged that the iPhone maker’s app store controlled and commissions have created a monopoly. They also alleged that the app store generates revenue for other apps on the store but didn’t pay any commission. For this Tom said to the court that the free apps bring 30% commission from the app store. The Court Also asked Epic’s chief executive that how apple’s forcing to change would ripple through the software world. He said that he didn’t think about this. 


Date: 21.05.2021 

India most hit by ransomware; Darkside made $90 million in 9 months 

74% of Indian companies were hit by a ransomware attack in the year 2020 according to the estimate of the FBI. According to the FBI, there is $29.1 million damage in the year 2020 worldwide. In this U.S businesses suffered a loss of $4 billion and India lost $17.27 billion. According to the report of Check Point Research, India is the most affected nation in 2021.  There are 213 attract every week in India. According to a Report of Bleeping Computer Darkside ransomware gang collect at least $90 million in ransom in the last 9 months. 


Date: 21.05.2021 

“Govt. invites applications to develop technology to tackle COVID-19″ 

The Government of India has launched the NIDHI4COVID2.0 initiative, under which companies registered in India can apply. Companies can offer promising solutions in the field of Oxygen innovation, portable solutions, relevant medical accessories, diagnostics, informatics, or any other solution that address/ mitigate various challenges faced by our country during the crisis. This initiative is a special drive of the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), and the Government of India. The main aim is to support indigenous solutions and innovative products to combat the COVID-19 crisis. 


Date: 21.05. 2021 

“Govt. issues advisory to social media to curb misinformation on COVID-19″ 

The Central government has asked all social media platforms to curb misinformation about the corona virus that adds to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. During these unprecedented times, the medical infrastructure of the nation has been pushed to its edge. The last thing we need right now is social media users to add oil to the fire by spreading misleading information about the deadly disease. Then there are benign users who share the misleading information. Social media has amplified such myths to an extent that, the believers of such have found each other. The Ministry of Electronics and IT has issued an advisory to all social media platforms, asking them to approach their user base and initiate awareness campaigns. They have also urged them to strictly remove any false information about the disease which may create a sense of panic and disturb the entire public order. 


Date: 20.05.2021 

“China extends its Cryptocurrency ban to Banks, Payment companies” 

In its latest attempt to clamp down on the flourishing digital trade market, China has imposed a ban on financial institutions and payment companies from providing cryptocurrency services. It has also warned investors against speculative crypto trading. Under the ban, financial institutions and payment companies are prohibited from offering clients any service which involves registration, trading, clearing and settlement of a cryptocurrency. China has barred crypto exchanges and Initial coin offerings (ICOs) but has not barred individuals from holding cryptocurrencies 


Date: 20.05.2021 

“WazirX launches Airdrop & other measures to minimize crypto volatility 

Cryptocurrency exchange WazirX is introducing a series of measures to compensate users who lost money on volatile Shiba Inu (SHIB) trades. It was opened at a substantial premium price as compared to its current price. The company is introducing WazirX Airdrop and is also amending its platform to deal with initial crypto price volatility. Like Dogecoin, Shiba Inu is also a meme coin, calling itself the “Dogecoin Killer.” Within minutes of the launch, SHIB reached a peak price of Rs. 1660. However, its price had dipped to below one rupee an hour after the token was listed. Although only one SHIB was bought at the peak price, this is extremely volatile behavior, a phenomenon marking the character of any cryptocurrency. After this incident, the company introduced this program for users who bought SHIB at an exceptionally high price and did not sell the token after its price achieved stability. Nishchal Shetty in his detailed blogpost about WRX Airdrop said that, “WazirX does not determine the price of the token. It is an open order book exchange on which prices are driven by demand and supply.” 



Govt’s legal advisors suggested Parliamentary approval for new IT Rules 

Two government legal advisers stated that the new IT rules are beyond the scope of the law and needed legislative permission. The new IT rule passed on February 25, 2021under IT Act 2000 to govern social media firms. Several provisions of this Rule have contested by many parties as being overboard and beyond the jurisdiction of the parent act. These guidelines are challenged in the different high courts. later on, the Supreme Court stayed the proceeding and transferred the case to itself. 


Date: 20.05.2021 

Must appoint Nodal officer for e-commerce platforms According to new IT rule 

The ministry of consumer Affair, food, and public distribution has made compulsory for e-commerce platform to appoint a nodal officer. This nodal officer appointed for the enforcement of the complaint under the Consumer protection (e-commerce) Rules 2021. The new consumer protection rules applied to all products and services available through a digital or electronic network. According to new rules, it also states that any e-commerce entity is a company registered and verified under the companies act1956 or companies act, 2013. 


Date: 19.05.2021 

WhatsApp Directed to Withdraw New Privacy Policy by MeitY, Letter Shows 

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY)  has asked WhatsApp to withdraw from its new privacy policy. The government has given7 days’ time to WhatsApp for responding the notice. If no satisfactory response is received, necessary steps in consonance with the law have taken. To protect the rights and interests of citizens, the government will consider other options according to the law. It is irresponsibility and leveraging to its position to impose unfair terms and conditions for only Indian users stated in the notice. WhatsApp’s new privacy policy violated data security and user choice and harms the rights and interests of Indian citizens.


Date: 19.05.2021

Google Launches News Showcase in India with 30 Publishers 

Google has announced to launch a global program to pay news publishers for their content posted online named News Showcase. For this Google signed the agreement with 30 Indian publishers to offer access to their content. This is available in English and Hindi currently. Google has announced the Google News Initiative (GNI) program for the development of aid reporting to training 50 k professionals 


Date: 19.05.2021 

Government may establish a new crypto-regulation panel 

In January after the announcement of the complete ban on Cryptocurrency, the government may set up a new setup crypto- regulation panel to recommend the ideal course for regulating cryptocurrencies according to a report of Economic Times. Last year, a committee headed by MR. Subash Chandra Garge recommended the government ban of cryptocurrencies. According to the report, Committee could be exploring the blockchain use cases and making recommendations for cryptocurrencies, as digital assets, rather than currency.  they study the aspect of launching rupee operated by the Reserve bank of India. 


Date: 19.05.2021 

Amazon extends moratorium on police use of facial recognition software Inc said on Tuesday about extension, until further notice, a moratorium it imposed last year on police use of its facial recognition software. The company had halted the practice for one year starting in June 2020. Its announcement came at the height of protests across the United States against police brutality toward people of color, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest in Minnesota. Amazon’s extension, which Reuters was first to report, underscores how facial recognition remains a sensitive issue for big companies. The world’s largest online retailer did not comment on the reason for its decision. 


Date: 19.05.2021 

What Apple’s Compromises on Privacy in China Mean for India 

New Year Times (NYT) investigation revealed that Apple has risked its customers’ data and aided government censorship in China in a bid to appease the authorities. This crumbles company’s image as a protector of privacy and civil liberties. China assembles most of Apple’s products and the country also generates one-fifth of the tech giant’s revenue. Using this as an advantageous position, the Chinese government has pressured Apple into making compromises that the company doesn’t make in any of its other markets. While India doesn’t hold the same leverage yet, it is an emerging market for the iPhone maker and the company has recently ramped up its manufacturing efforts in the country. 


Date: 19.05.2021 

Paytm Says It Is the Go-To Banker for Indian Merchants 

Paytm is the third largest UPI (Unified Payments Interface) player but unlike the market leaders, it has a banking license. This has given the firm a competitive advantage over its competition in terms of smoother processing of transactions and lower failure rates. The company, in a series of blogpost acknowledged that due to the smooth transaction, merchants are happy to move to a Paytm account and abandon their traditional bank account. The company said that it has become the largest enabler of digital payments in the country driven by merchant payments and increased adoption across small cities and towns. According to Forbes India, Paytm has provided loans to 126,000 of its merchants as of March this year, and plans to scale this side of the business to 1 million merchants in 2 years. 


Date: 18.05.2021 

Russian spy chief rebuffs “pathetic” SolarWinds hack accusations 

The head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has denied any involvement in last year’s SolarWinds cyber-attack which saw hackers infiltrate the networks of hundreds of companies as well as nine US governmental agencies. Instead, SVR director Sergei Naryshkin suggested that the SolarWinds hack might have been orchestrated by the West, which could have used similar tactics to those exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. He leaked documents detailing the US and UK intelligence services’ efforts to “insert secret vulnerabilities into commercial encryption software” with the help of ISP providers and tech companies. 


Date: 18.05.2021 

India saw the highest number of ransomware attacks in 2021: Report 

According to a report by Check Point Research (CPR), an average of over 1,000 organizations have been impacted by ransomware every week since April. This follows an increase of 21% in the first trimester of the year and of 7% since April. The report says that this increase has resulted in a staggering 102% overall increase in the number of organizations affected by ransomware compared to the beginning of 2020. Furthermore, the report says that India remains the country most impacted by these attacks. As per the report, India has seen the greatest number of attack attempts per organization, with an average of 213 weekly attacks since the beginning of the year. 


Date: 18.05.202 

Payments Council of India Finalizing Independent Bid for Digital Payments Self-Regulatory Body 

The Payments Council of India (PCI), an industry body for digital payment operators in the country, is in the final stages of submitting its independent application to become a self-regulatory organization (SRO) for digital payments, under the Reserve Bank of India’s mandate, said two sources aware of the development. The PCI, which operates under the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), will float a new not-for-profit entity. It would serve as the SRO entity, and is looking to on-board various stakeholders and other industry associations as members apart from existing payments companies. 


Date: 18.05.2021 

Sophos discovers 167 fake Android and iOS cryptocurrency apps 

167 fake Android and iOS apps are identified by Sophos, a global cybersecurity corporate leader. The attacker used this app to rob people. This app seems similar to the well-known and trustworthy financial trader, banking. or cryptocurrency apps. They designed the websites to look like a trusted company, like a bank, to trap targets. 

When the user clicks the link, a mobile web app downloads the wrong app for Android or iOS, but actually was a shortcut icon connected to a fake website. They used it to withdraw funds or close accounts. 


Date: 18.05.2021 

Amazon Prime Cancels Trials, Monthly Subscription in India to Meet RBI Recurring Payment Norms 

After the announcement of the new guideline of the Reserve bank of India on recurring payments and an additional factor of authentication of such payments, Amazon has changed its Amazon Prime subscription plan. They have canceled their monthly prime offer for membership. They have now only two planes as of now. One has three months and another is the annual plan for a prime subscription. As per a report last year, Amazon Prime has nearly 10 M subscribers in India. RBI has introduced additional factor authentication to prevent online hacks and data leaks. The central bank has mandated that no new subscribers should be onboarded for recurring subscriptions until an online platform is compliant with its new framework for such transactions. 


Date: 18.05.2021 

France embraces Google, Microsoft in quest to safeguard sensitive data 

France wants to use cloud computing technology developed by Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft for the security of their own corporate data. Google, Microsoft, and Amazon dominating the realm of data storage worldwide. According to Le Maire said that France hopes that Google or Microsoft could license all or part of their technology to French companies. OVHcloud and Dassault System already fulfill this criterion. 


Date: 17.05.2021

“RBI updates Know-Your-Customer norms to push video-KYC, aid customer convenience”

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) amended its Master Direction on Know-Your-Customer (KYC) norms on Monday, allowing regulated entities like banks and other lenders to on-board customers using video-KYC technology. The RBI has instructed financial companies to allow customers to use video-KYC across all types of services, while customers can use any communication channel to update their KYC. By relaxing KYC norms, every player from banks, non-bank lenders to fintech lenders, payments firms to neo-banks, and the end customer stands to benefit as purchasing banking and financial services can be done virtually through video rather than physical contact. This reduces the cost of acquisition for companies, while giving consumers multiple options to buy new banking products or avail credit without the effort-time and risk associated with physical KYC processes.


Date: 17.05.2021

“Telangana Government partners with 7 drone consortia for vaccine and medical delivery”

Seven consortia between logistics companies and drone operators have partnered with the Telangana Government for its “Medicine in the Sky” project. The project aims to deliver COVID-19 vaccines and other essential healthcare items to remote places with the help of drones. The companies include Mahindra Logistics, Blue Dart, and Dunzo and drone operators like Sagar Defense and Marut Dronetech. The Ministry of Civil Aviation granted Telangana government exemption from the UAS Rules 2021 and granted permission for conducting beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations. Telangana government also got approval from the Airports Authority of India (AA), but is awaiting final approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs, currently conducting a review.


Date: 17.05.2021

“How US is overhauling its cybersecurity policies?”

After several recent cybersecurity incidents like Solar Winds Hack, Microsoft Exchange Hack, and the Colonial Pipeline Attack, the U.S government has initiated to overhaul its cybersecurity. The United States President on Wednesday issued an executive order in that regard. The order focusses on the policy key changes such as Improving threat information sharing between government and the private sector, modernization like adopting cloud and FedRAMP, enhancing software supply chain security, establishing a Cybersecurity Safety Review Board, Standardizing response to cybersecurity incidents, improving detection of cybersecurity incidents on government networks, Improving investigative and remediation capabilities


Date: 17.05.2021 

ISRO announces its decision to share technology to make portable medical oxygen concentrators developed by VSSC 

ISRO has decided to transfer the technology of Shwaas, the portable medical oxygen concentrator developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC.) Shwaas can deliver enriched 95% oxygen at 10-liter par minute for two patients. According to ISRO, its required 600 W device operates at a voltage of 220V/50 Hz. It has an audible alarm for low purity, low and high levels of pressure, and flow rate of oxygen on its LCD screen having 42-44 Kg weight. 


Date: 17.05.2021 

WhatsApp Privacy Policy Update Violates Indian IT Laws: Centre Tells Delhi High Court 

The central government said to Delhi High Court that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy violates Indian information and technology law and rules. WhatsApp’s new privacy policy violated user’s fundamental rights under article 21 of the Indian constitution. WhatsApp’s new policy comes into effect on 15 May. According to WhatsApp, they didn’t delete accounts immediately after the effect of the privacy policy. They want to encourage their users to accept it. 

May, 2021


Date: 28.04.21 

Govt. grants exemption to all entities under MHA & Police to use drones 

The ministry of civil Aviation(MCA) has granted a conditional exemption to all the entities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The exemption includes agencies/organizations/departments/entities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as State/UT police. Due to this exemption MHA has the power to grant the necessary permission to the exemption entities for drone operations. They have also frame necessary rules/guidelines/SOP-related drones. 


Date: 28.04.21 

“Truecaller Launches COVID Hospital Directory to Help Users Looking for Bed Vacancy” 

The true caller has launched a new COVID Hospital Directory for Indian citizens looking for assistance during the pandemic.  The dictionary includes telephone numbers and addresses of COVID hospitals verified by the official government database. Truecaller search availability in COVID Hospitals through Hospital dictionary. This function available only for Android beta users, not for iOS users. This directory is segregated into cities, in alphabetical order. 


Date: 28.04.2021 

“UK government green lights ‘self-driving’ cars on motorways” 

The UK government became the first country to announce that, it will regulate the use of self-driving vehicles at slow speeds on motorways, with the first such cars possibly appearing on public roads as soon as this year. Britain’s transport ministry said it was working on specific wording to update the country’s highway code for the safe use of self-driving vehicle systems, starting with Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) – which use sensors and software to keep cars within a lane, allowing them to accelerate and brake without driver input. 


Date: 28.04.2021 

Visa Sees Traction in Partnerships with Indian Banks and FinTechs 

VISA posted a net profit of $3 billion in the second quarter of the current financial year. In 2020, Visa had partnered with State Bank of India and HDFC Bank to push their merchant payments acceptance network in the country. ICICI Bank launched ‘Visa in a Box’, an accelerator programme for fintechs. In February 2021, it joined hands with SBI Payment for the SBI YONO Merchant App launch which is a soft Point-of-Sale offering from the country’s largest bank. Visa will enable 20 million merchants in the coming year to accept payments through ‘Tap and Pay’ or Near-Field-Communication (NFC) technology through YONO Merchant. VISA has built infrastructure to ensure that its network can convert digital currencies to fiat currency, while also allowing customers to use the crypto card for both digital currencies and fiat. 


Date: 28.04.2021 

ICICI Bank is Betting Big on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning 

ICICI Bank sees AI and ML as an opportunity to acquire good customers at a faster speed, while also helping it keep tabs on how their clients’ spending and credit behavior on a near real-time basis. AI and ML are used to figure out patterns and get feedback of early warning signals back into the credit underwriting process. This technology can lead to a lower operating, acquisition, collection, and credit cost. However, AI and ML are not as amenable to business loans and the SME segment since the number of cases is small. Nevertheless, it provides early warning signals on sectors, which are then fed back into the scorecard model. The bank is building a vast data lake to upgrade its customer behavior analytics. It will experiment with new uses that can improve product penetration and customer stickiness.  


Date: 27.04.2021 

Apple iPhone privacy update seen hurting Facebook revenue in second-quarter 

A full-screen notification will begin to appear on iPhone apps on Monday that will ask users if they consent to being tracked “across apps and websites owned by other companies” for advertising purposes. Facebook faces a decline up to 7% in second quarter revenue if 80% of its users block the company from tracking them on iPhones. This amounts to nearly $2 billion based on Facebook’s fourth quarter earnings. Facebook last year hit back against Apple’s plans, accusing Apple of hurting small businesses that rely on personalized ads and harming the free internet. It has warned investors that a significant number of iPhone users could reject being tracked and hurt Facebook’s digital ad business. While Facebook accuses Apple of anti-competitive behavior, Apple has said that they believe in standing up for their users, and that people should have a choice of whether to allow their data to be collected and shared. 


Date: 27.04.2021 

E-commerce fraud to surpass $20 billion this year 

Between 2020 and 2021, e-commerce fraud grew by 18% from $17.5 billion to over $20 billion as criminals focused on the COVID-19-fueled surge in online shopping. Fraudsters thus exposed insecure fraud-mitigation processes from unfamiliar and unprepared merchants for the continuing challenges in the market. Researchers have claimed that China will be the largest single e-commerce fraud market in the world. Amounting to over $12 billion in fraud. The reasons are China’s massive e-commerce market and relative lack of fraud detection and prevention platform deployment. 76% of retailers predict that their budget to tackle fraud will increase in the next 12 months, with one in five anticipating a “significant” increase. 


Date: 27.04.2021 

NHS app to be used as Covid ‘vaccine passport’ for foreign travel 

The UK secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that, international travelers will be asked to demonstrate their Covid19 vaccination and testing status using the NHS smartphone app.  


Date: 26.04.2021 

A Florida firm took over a slice of the internet owned by the Pentagon during Biden’s inauguration. 

A mysterious Florida company is said to have taken control of a substantial portion of the internet owned by the Pentagon, only three minutes before President Donald Trump’s official term in office ended. The company was identified as Global Resource Systems LLC, with headquarters in Plantation, Florida. According to Florida state records, Global Resource Systems filed paperwork in October 2020. The paperwork said it was incorporated in Delaware. 


Date: 26.04.2021 

“Tamil Nadu To Upgrade Criminal Tracking Architecture- integration of facial recognition”

The Tamil Nadu government plans to upgrade its existing Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS) and integrate it with applications maintained by the Tamil Nadu State Crime Record Bureau (SCRB). This would integrate the state-wide crime records bureau with facial recognition and fingerprint databases as well as external databases related to vehicle ownership, revenue, tax and others. 

The Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) floated a tender inviting bids to appoint a systems integrator for supply, design, development and maintenance of the  CCTNS, termed as ‘CCTNS 2.0 Web Application Software. 


Date: 26.04.2021

“Whether WhatsApp Group Admins Can Be Held Liable For Members Messages Without Common Intention”

The Bombay High Court has held that a WhatsApp group administrator cannot be held liable for objectionable content posted by a group member, in the absence of common intention. The Nagpur bench of the court held that Common intention cannot be established in a case of WhatsApp service user merely acting as a group administrator. 


Date: 26.04.2021

“Anti-COVID-19 Measures: University In Maharashtra To Introduce Facial Recognition For Attendance”

The Punyalok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur University in Solapur, Maharashtra is looking to introduce facial recognition-based attendance system for its 300 employees. Several government institutions are taking the facial recognition path for recording the attendance of stakeholders. Even the Ministry of Defence has invited tenders through its various departments to install the technology at its various public sector units for the same. However, the subject of privacy and the fact that privacy is a fundamental right in the country is often overlooked. This becomes increasingly important due to a lack of Data protection law. Currently, Indian law does not prevent the use of facial recognition technology by employers for attendance purposes.  


Date: 26.04.2021 

“NHS adopts predictive AI tech from controversial startup”

 NHS has partnered with AI startup Faculty to address new areas where AI forecasting tools can improve service delivery and patient care. Faculty has been working with the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic and developed the Early Warning System (EWS) which uses aggregate data to warn hospitals about potential spikes in cases so they can divert staff, beds and vital equipment to where it’s needed. However, it is infamous across the country for its governmental contracts after its part in the “vote leave campaign”. It was being paid over £1 million to provide AI services for the NHS, with Open Democracy claiming that the terms of the deal were changed after initial demands for transparency were made under a FOI request.


Date: 26.04.2021 

“Chinese regulators issue draft rules on privacy protection for app users”

Draft guidelines dictating how apps must protect the privacy and personal information of users have been issued. This is increasingly relevant as China’s tech giants face an ongoing wave of scrutiny from policymakers. The guidelines require that the apps disclose what personal information will be collected and for what purpose. Personal information cannot be collected without first obtaining consent. When sensitive personal information is processed, users should receive a separate notification. Personal information beyond the scope of the user’s consent or the requirement of the app should not be obtained. The regulations will be open for comment until May 26. 



“Evidence in Bhima Koregaon case was planted”

An unknown hacker planted more then 30 documents, says a forensic report from a private lab. This report claims that the documents are key evidence in the Bhima Koregaon case. According to the report, there may be 22 to 24 files that are directly connected in the case. As per the statement of NIA, a government Forensic Laboratory did not suggest that the laptop was infected with malware.


Date: 26.04.21 

“Database from Big Basket breach available for free”

BigBasket, A famous Indian grocery delivery service provider had suffered a data breach last year. 20 million customers were affected due to the breach. The leaked data includes email Ids, hashed passwords, birth dates, and phone numbers of users. The company had filed police complain against this data breach.  Alon Gal, Co-founder, and CTO of the Israeli cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock tweeted that “Infamous threat actor”, “shiny hunters” leaked the data of BigBasket. For precaution it is always advisable that customer reset their password and use a strong password.


Date: 26.04.21 

SBI has launched a Video- based KYC feature YONO app”

On YONO mobile banking App, SBI has launched a video-based KYC feature. The chairman of SBI said the artificial intelligence & facial recognition enabled process is a contactless and paperless process. KYC is a unique number that the central KYC record Registry assigns to a customer. In digital KYC must capture a live photograph of the customer and official valid proof or Aadhar card. Digital KYC is equivalent to e-document.


Date: 23.04.2021

“Data Protection Laws should precede Open Banking Frameworks: RBI”

 Data protection and privacy law should precede large open banking frameworks said RBI deputy governor M.Rajeshwar Rao in a webinar. Open banking is the sharing and leveraging of customer-permission data with third-party developers to build applications and services. The financial data of customers use to build new service models and remove inefficiencies in the system. They said that the right to data accessibility and usage should clearly vest in the ‘owners’ of data rather than ‘holders’ of data, Opening banking frameworks, strong data protection, and privacy laws should ideally precede large-scale adoption.


Date: 23.04.2021

“Govt. exempts ICMR to study drone-based COVID-19 vaccine deliver”

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has exempted for one year the Indian council For Medical Research (ICMR)From the unmanned Aircraft Rules, 2021 to study drone-based vaccine delivery. This research conducted with the collaboration with ICMR and IIT Kanpur. These exemptions grant in view of the development of the Digital Sky Platform. Recently the government exempted the Adani Defense System for counter-drone demonstrations, DGCA exempted Indian Oil to implement drone-based surveillance and much more exemptions based on drone surveillance.


Date: 23.04.2021

“MeitY announces #FOSS4GOV innovation challenge to accelerate adoption”

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) conducted a virtual roundtable discussion on ‘Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Government’ on 22nd April, 2021. The Ministry also launched the #FOSS4GOV innovation challenge with an aim to harness the innovation potential of the FOSS community and start-ups to increase awareness about its usage in e-governance and its adoption. The challenge calls upon FOSS innovators, technology entrepreneurs and Indian Start-ups to submit implementable innovations in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). The solutions shall also have possible applications for government technology in health, education, agriculture, urban governance, etc. MeitY will soon share details regarding participation, eligibility for incubation support, prize money, mentorship by experts, etc.


Date: 23.04.2021

“Fintech Platform Setu Launches APIs For Recurring Payments On Bharat Bill Pay”

Fintech software developer Setu has launched several ready-to-use application programme interfaces (API) that can be used by merchants and online platforms on the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). This is in light of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulations on recurring payments or auto-debit transactions. As banks and card networks figure out the transition to a new “consent and mandate” model for recurring payments by October 2021, Setu has enabled merchants to get a lead in the race to comply with the new rules. Setu is the brainchild of Kumar and Sahil Kini, who were previously with the Indian Software Products Industry Round Table (iSPIRT) based in Bengaluru. The team behind Setu has worked on the Aadhaar project, UPI and the Goods and Services Tax Network platform.


Date: 22.04.2021

“Hacking Group steals Apple’s designs, demands $50 million ransom”

The Ransomware Group “REvil” hacked Apple’s Confidential data from Quanta’s server. They demanding a $50 million ransom from Apple. The Group released 21 screenshots of Macebook schematics, threatening to release new information every day before Apple or quanta paid the ransom demand. REvil Group discovered in June 2019 and the group established itself as one of the most prolific ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) gang. This gang recently targeted Harris Federation Academy Trust and earlier Acer as well. Acknowledging the attack Quanta stated that its Cybersecurity team is working with an external IT expert to respond to the cyber-attacker.


Date: 22.04.2021

“Delhi High Court prepares template for direction to remove online content”

Delhi high court delivers a judgment to remove online content posted by miscreants. The court is hearing a case in which some miscreant had downloaded a lady’s image from her private Facebook and Instagram accounts and posted them on pornographic websites. In this case, the court observed that, if the name or image of a person appears on a pornographic website without such person’s consent, such an act would amount to an offense under section 67 of the IT Act 2000. Court further said that the offending content is removed from a website, the search engine must block the search results throughout the world within 24 hours.


Date: 22.04.2021

“Defense Ministry looking to install facial recognition-based attendance at its PSUs”

Due to the new strain of COVID-19, The defense ministry looking to install a facial recognition-based attendance system in its various departments, and the public sector understands. Earlier many organizations introducing facial recognition systems to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They looking for that system that recognized faces with mask bears, recognition in a dark environment. They replaced biometric with facial recognition. Telangana government introduced an FRS-based attendance system on a pilot project. Some Technical researchers and activists arise concerns about the privacy safety of users’.


Date: 22.04.2021

“Bureau Of Indian Standards Establishes Data Privacy Standard For Businesses”

The Data Privacy Assurance standard, IS 17428, was published to promote the standardization of practice in protecting personal data for businesses that deal with the collection and processing of individual information. The standards released by BIS seek to facilitate a consistent and approved practice of protecting personal data. Tt is only complementary to the regulatory framework applicable for personal data protection and does not apply to businesses that process Non-Personal Data. Due to lack of a Personal Data Protection Act, this standard may well be the closest there is to a reference point for businesses. A guiding document is also provided. The basis for collecting and processing data must be based on recognized privacy principles. Additionally, the businesses must also ensure adequate security controls are adopted to ensure the protection of the collected personal data and also imposes transfer restrictions.


Date: 22.04.2021

“Signal app creator alleges security flaws in Cellebrite equipment”

Cellebrite DI Ltd specializes in helping law enforcement and intelligence agencies copy call logs, texts, photos and other data off of smartphones. Signal clashed with Cellebrite last year when it alleged that its equipment was upgraded to allow law enforcement to scoop up Signal messages from devices in their possession. On 21st April, Signal suggested in a blog post that products sold to law enforcement from Israeli surveillance provider Cellebrite can easily be sabotaged. It was also alleged that snippets of code from Apple were found inside Cellebrite’s software. This could potentially present a legal risk for Cellebrite and its users if it was done without authorization. Cellebrite did not directly address this claim. However, it said that the company’s employees continually audit and update their software in order to equip the customers with the best digital intelligence solutions available.


Date: 22.04.2021

“LinkedIn Used by ‘Hostile Actors’ to Seek Sensitive Information Online, MI5 Warns”

According to MI5, at least 10000 over the last five years have been approached by anonymous “actors,” posing as recruiters. These actors connect with people in possession of or with access to valuable and sensitive information. They are presented with lucrative opportunities, however the real intent is to collect as much information as possible. The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has now launched a campaign — Think Before You Link — to spread awareness among government officials about this threat.  Engaging with such profiles online may damage individual careers, the interests of the organization, and can compromise UK national security and prosperity. People working in the private sector and academia with access to classified or commercially sensitive technology or research may also be approached by such elements. In the past, the USA has also been allegedly a target of the same. LinkedIn has appreciated this move.



China-linked hackers used VPN flaw to target U.S. defense industry: Researchers 

According to research, China-linked two hackers groups try to hack ‘U.S defense industry, researchers and the devices. They want to look advantage of the flaw in its pulse Connect Secure suite to break into the system of “a very limited number of customers.” As per cybersecurity company FireEye Inc, it suspected that at least one of the hacking groups operated by Chinese government. Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Penyu said that China firmly opposes and cracks down on all forms of cyber-attacks. 



Facebook-Backed Diem to Launch Stablecoin Pilot Later in 2021: Report 

According to a report of CNBC report, Diem Association is launching a pilot with a single stable coin pegged to the US dollar later this year. Diem Association, which is a Facebook-backed digital currency project. Diem association wants to pursue a stable coin model for a digital currency that would be indexed to a basket of global currencies. Diem has focused largely on transactions between individual consumers. According to a report of a city group, Diem could become a white label central digital currency. 


Date: 21.04.2021 

COVID vaccination drive: Face authentication and not facial recognition to be used, says Nandan Nilekani 

It has been clarified that face-authentication based on Aadhaar will be used for the vaccination drive, not facial recognition. To further clarify, what is being used is face authentication, where your photo will be compared when you give your Aadhaar number. Whereas, facial recognition is scanning a database to look for a person. The latter is not being undertaken as per the Unique Identification Authority of India, Chairman. It is a way of being inclusive and will help in accelerating vaccination. 



Facebook wants to ‘normalize’ security concerns in light of ‘data scrapping 

Earlier this month, it was reported that a data breach by Facebook impacted more than 500mn users around the world. At that time Facebook has not given any reply to this data breach. Facebook aims to dismiss the data breach by presenting it as a sectoral problem and after that, they want to normalizing security concerns. They have a long-term plan that demonstrates Facebook’s desire to deem scrapping as an industrial problem that has nothing to do with Facebook in particular. 


Date: 21.04.2021 

Instagram launches feature to tackle hate speech, abuse 

Instagram is rolling out a feature to prevent users from viewing possibly abusive messages by filtering offensive words, phrases and emojis.  It will also make it harder for people blocked by users to circumvent and contact them through new accounts. The filter can be activated in the privacy settings. It can be customized by users to include words, phrases and emojis that they wish to block or avoid receiving in their message requests. Users can use their discretion to report, delete or open messages, which will be sorted into a hidden requests folder. The feature will roll out in some countries in the coming weeks. Additionally, users will have extended options to entirely block persons on Instagram in the next few weeks. 


Date: 20.04.2021 

UK invokes national security to investigate Nvidia’s ARM deal 

The UK government will look into the national security implications of U.S. group Nvidia’s (NVDA.O) purchase of British chip designer ARM Holdings. The UK’s independent competition authority will prepare a report on the implications of the transaction, which will help inform any further decisions. Nvidia does not believe that the deal possesses any national security threats. Semiconductors are critical infrastructure in Britain and are in technology related to defense and national security matters. The Nvidia deal puts a vital supplier to multiple silicon chipmakers under the control of a single player. The deal has raised concern among global technology companies since multiple industries are being hit by a worldwide chip shortage. 


Date: 20.04.2021 

The COAI of the telecommunications lobby for import ban and online sale of unauthorized mobile signal amplifiers 

The Cellular Operators Association of India, in a letter to the Department of Telecommunications, demanded a ban on importing and e-commerce sale of wireless repeaters, arguing they hinder Telco’s’ planned coverage and infringe on their spectrum ownership rights.  

A wireless repeater or extender is used to extend the coverage area of your wireless network. It works by receiving your existing wireless signal, amplifying it and then transmitting the boosted signal. 


Date: 20.04.2021 

U.S. banks deploy AI to monitor customers, workers amid tech backlash 

Content: Several U.S. banks [such as City National Bank of Florida, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N)] have conducted test trials using camera software to analyze customer preferences, monitor workers, and spot people sleeping near ATMs. However, there are concerns about the use of such facial recognition. Arrests of innocent individuals following faulty facial matches, disproportionate use of the systems to monitor lower-income and non-white communities, and the loss of privacy inherent in ubiquitous surveillance are some of them. Portland, Oregon, as of Jan. 1 has banned businesses from using facial recognition “in places of public accommodation.” While AI may help recognize patterns that can lead to better service to customers, ensuring staff does it work and curb crime the risks attached with it have to be assessed as well.  


Date: 20.04.2021 

“China Plans $3-Billion Supercomputing Centre to Analyze Data from Space” 

China’s space port of Wenchang will build a $3-billion (roughly Rs. 22,490 crores) supercomputing centre by end of 2021 to analyze data obtained from space, as per state media. The supercomputing centre will provide big data services for industries including the aerospace and marine sectors starting in 2022. China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments for the next decade. To meet the demand for satellite launches, it will have to build bigger rockets that can carry more satellites or build more launch sites, or both. China is also planning a new commercial space base in Hainan to meet growing demand for launches. 


Date: 20.04.2021 

Hyderabad Deploys Artificial Intelligence Tools Across 650,000 CCTVs To Identify Mask Violators 

Hyderabad police have developed artificial intelligence tools to identify mask violators. They identified mask violators through closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras which connected through AI tools. With the help of these AI tools police caught around 10000 cases of COVID-19 mask violations. CCTV capture photo of mask violator and automatically send e-challan to their home. According to a report, surveillance cameras tracked down those not wearing makes, and mobile patrols reached to the spots to ensure they wear them, apart from penalizing them.  


Date: 20.04.2021 

WordPress joins the flock blocking FLoC, cites privacy concerns 

Google announced the rolling out of Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) for its chrome browser. Google says that they track like-minded cohorts through a unique cohort ID. These cohort ID used for google ads. After the announcement of FLoC, WordPress has announced to blocked FLoC for their website. Electronic Frontier Foundation criticized the new FLoC policy of chrome creates new privacy risks such as the likelihood of websites to uniquely fingerprint, personal information, etc. The other privacy-based browsers like DuckDuckGo, Brave, and Vivaldi raised concerns over the technology and promised to block it on their browsers. 


Date: 19.04.2021

“United States imposes sanctions on Russia for SolarWinds Cyber Attack”

In December, 2020, a major cyberattack targeted SolarWinds, compromising numerous governmental agencies and multinationals around the world. The US and the UK have held operatives working for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service on Thursday (SVR) responsible. In response, the US has imposed sanctions on Russia.

The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions for “undermining the conduct of free and fair elections and democratic institutions”. It has also placed a ban on six technology companies that support Russian Intelligence Services’ cyber program. It barred companies including ERA Technopolis, Pasit, Federal State Autonomous Scientific Establishment Scientific Research Institute Specialized Security Computing Devices and Automation (SVA), Neobit, Advanced System Technology, and Pozitiv Teknolodzhiz (Positive Technologies). Some of the banned companies cater to the Russian Ministry of Defense, SVR, and Rus (FSB).

The Biden administration has also expelled ten members of Russia’s diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., including security service personnel.


Date: 19.04.2021

UK Exploring plans to launch its own digital currency”

UK is exploring plans to launch its own digital currency. The government is preparing a special taskforce for this that combines expertise from the Treasury and the Bank of England. The state-backed digital currency would operate alongside traditional currencies, and allow households and businesses to make payments using digital money issued by the Bank of England. The group will consult with stakeholders to explore how viable launching a Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) would be, as well as in abroad.


Date: 19.04.2021

“Data breach at Domino’s leaks 13 TB of personal and financial data”

A data breach at Domino’s Pizza has come to light. This data breach at Domino’s Pizza has resulted in data theft of 13TB worth of data. Alon Gal, CTO of security firm Hudson Rock, in a tweet reported this incident first.

The stolen data of over 13TB contains information of 180,000,000 orders. This data includes names, phones numbers, emails, addresses, payment details, and 10,00,000 credit card details.

Gal stated that the threat actor is looking for about $550,000 (roughly Rs 4 crore) for the database. They also intend to create a search portal to allow querying the data.


Date: 19.04.2021 

WhatsApp Pink Scam in Circulation, a Fake App That Could Steal User Data and Gain Access to Phones 

A malicious app, WhatsApp Pink, is in circulation that, once installed, has the potential to steal data and thereby allows hackers to gain access to the phone. Under the pretext of providing the new features in the original WhatsApp installation, a link is being circulated that leads to a page download option to WhatsApp. This is not the first time when a fake WhatsApp version has been in circulation. In the past, users were attacked by a WhatsApp Gold variant that was also created by some hackers to gain user data maliciously. 


Date: 19.04.2021 

LIC appoints Paytm to handle its e-payments 

In the backdrop of the pandemic, which led to rising in digital payments, LIC has appointed Paytm to handle its e-payments. The new contract calls for a more efficient payment mechanism, a broader range of payment options, and the inclusion of more players (banks, wallets, and so on) in payment channels. As per Economic Times, 17 payment platforms placed aggressive bids. Since others were dominant in specific segments like UPI or card behemoths, Paytm’s ability to stand out in multiple payment services worked in its favor. 


Date: 19.04.2021 

EU to introduce Bill to regulate Artificial Intelligence abuses 

The European Union is considering a ban on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for mass surveillance and social credit ratings. The leaked proposal is expected to be made official in the last week of April. The Bill aims to outlaw AI programs that generate ratings used to assess someone’s trustworthiness based on their social actions or expected personality traits (Social credit ratings). The draft legislation also proposed to ban “remote biometric identification systems” such as facial recognition in public spaces. Authorization will be necessary to use biometric identification systems in the public domain. High-risk AI applications would be subjected to a rigorous review before being implemented. Member states will need to appoint assessment bodies to see whether these systems are trained on impartial data sets and provide enough human oversight. Article 4 of the bill has attracted criticism for being ambiguous and potentially all-encompassing. 


Date: 19.04.2021 

Turkey bans cryptocurrencies and crypto assets 

From April 30, 2021, cryptocurrencies and other digital assets based on distributed ledger technology would not be considered payment instruments. This can lead to irreparable harm and a significant risk to all parties in any transaction of digital tokens. The rationale behind such a ban was two-fold. First, lack of oversight by any authority, and second, the central regulator as a security concern. As a result, using cryptocurrency to make payments may result in irrecoverable losses for the parties concerned. As per Reuters, Bitcoin’s value tumbled more than 4% on Friday after the announcement.  With this move, Turkey joins countries like India which have imposed a ban against cryptocurrency.  


Date: 16.04.2021 

India ranks 49th on the Internet Inclusion Index: Study 

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook – The Economist Intelligence Unit have assessed 120 countries on the ability of their citizens to use the Internet for personal and social purposes. The report ranks India at 49th spot on the internet inclusion index. On different parameters, India ranks 77th (availability), 20th (affordability), 49th (relevance), and 29th (readiness). The report finds that the pandemic may have widened the divide between on- and offline populations. As per the report, the global gender gap in Internet access has shrunk by 4 percentage points since 2016. However, men are still 14% more likely than women to have access to the Internet. Interestingly, people in low-income and lower-middle-income countries relied on online education during the pandemic, more so than those in richer countries. 


Date: 16.04.2021 

FBI says will remove backdoors from hacked Microsoft Exchange servers 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a mega operation to copy and remove malicious web shells (pieces of code or scripts that enable remote administration) from hundreds of vulnerable computers in the US that were running on-premises versions of Microsoft Exchange Server software used to provide enterprise-level email service. A court in Houston has authorized an FBI operation to “copy and remove” backdoors from hundreds of Microsoft Exchange email servers that have been compromised by nation-state hackers, including from China. The step comes in the wake to disrupt hacking activity using all of our legal tools, not just prosecutions. Through January and February this year, certain hacking groups exploited zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server software to access email accounts and place web shells for continued access. 


Date: 16.04.2021 

NIXI launches 3 key initiatives to improve internet infrastructure in India 

Content: The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) manages internet exchanges through which data is exchanged amongst ISPs, Data Centers, and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). It also maintains the .in registry, and manages the internet protocol (IPv4/ IPv6). It has launched 3 key initiatives to improve the internet infrastructure in India. These are IP Guru, NIXI Academy and NIXI-IP-Index. IP Guru will extend support to all Indian entities who are facing difficulties in adopting/ migrating to IPv6. It will help in identifying & hiring agencies that will help end customer by providing necessary technical support. NIXI Academy is a training portal to educate technical/ non-technical Indians to learn technologies like IPv6. Lastly, NIXI-IP-Index will show case the IPv6 adoption rate in India and across the world, also allowing comparisons.  


Date: 15.04.2021 

Signal begins beta tests of payments feature 

The Signal Payments feature enables users to link a MobileCoin wallet to Signal for sending and receiving funds and viewing transactions through a simple interface. “MobileCoin’s design means Signal does not have access to your balance, full transaction history, or funds,” states the firm. “You can also transfer your funds at any time if you want to switch to another app or service.” MobileCoin’s cryptocurrency, dubbed MOB, is currently available for purchase on the FTX exchange. 


Date: 15.04.2021 

Moneycontrol data breach impacts 7 lakhs+ users

Moneycontrol, an app for business & finance breached data to their user. It affects 7+ lakh users most of them are Indian. Sourajeet Majumdar, an independent security researcher tweeted a breach of users’ data. The leaked data includes users’ usernames, plain –text passwords, phone numbers, email addresses, and city and state of residence. The CTO of Moneycontrol’s, Pandurang Nayak replied to the tweet of Majumdar stated that the licked data was old data set. All the information about current users is safe. The organization takes its responsibility towards information security very seriously. 


Date: 15.04.2021 

Facebook signs renewable energy deal in India; says it has reached net zero

Content: Facebook has signed a deal to buy renewable energy in India from a local firm’s wind power project. The 32-megawatt wind power project is located in southern Karnataka state. It is part of a larger portfolio of wind and solar projects that Facebook and CleanMax are working on together to supply renewable power into India’s electrical grid. CleanMax will own and operate the projects, while Facebook will buy the power off the grid using environmental attribute certificates, or carbon credits. About half of the project’s capacity has recently been commissioned and is already generating power. The electricity generated from these plants will power the tech giant’s first Asian data center. The International Energy Agency had earlier stated that data centers driving tech companies like Facebook use up as much as 1% of the world’s total energy. Initiatives like this will go a long way! 


Date: 15.04.2021 

Govt. launches new Cyber Fraud Reporting System: 155260 

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and Delhi Police Cyber Cell have launched the Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting System. Now the Victims of cyber fraud can reach out to the reporting system through a helpline number, 155260. This pilot project was an initiative of the MoHA and Delhi police cyber cell against online frauds. DCP, Aneesh Roy told NBT that this platform has been created in interconnection with 55 payment facilitators. It includes banks, e-wallets, e-commerce websites, e-payment gateways, and some other institutions. Until now this service of the Contact Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting System is accessible for the residents of the national capital, Delhi. These services are also available to the residents of Rajasthan. The residents of the remaining states and union territories will be able to use it in some months. 


Date: 14.04.2021 

Turkey fines Google for abusing dominant position

Content: Google has been fined more than 296 million lira ($36.65 million) by Turkey’s Competition Board for abusing its dominant position in search engine services. The reasoning given by the board was that the search engine had favored its own price comparison for accommodations and its local search services over those of competitors. In addition to the fine, Google must ensure within six months that competitors are not disadvantaged. It will also have to report to the board annually for five years on the issue.  


Date: 13.04.2021 

Google is making another attempt at personal health records 

Google is recruiting people to give feedback for a new consumer-facing medical records tool. This step is in furtherance to know how people want to interact with information pulled from their medical records. As of now, it is recruiting around 300 people using android devices across Northern California, Atlanta, and Chicago. Earlier in 2008, it had launched Google Health but had to shut down in 2012. Google says, that digital health landscape changed drastically and usage of heath apps proliferated. Google is also working on the doctor-facing side of health records; its Care Studio program gives clinicians a way to search through patient records more easily. Other health efforts include a research app that lets Android users participate in medical studies and a Nest Hub feature that tracks sleep.


Date: 13.04.2021 

IIT Madras develops Blockchain-based Healthcare Information System 

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, have developed ‘BlockTrack,’ a unique blockchain-based healthcare information system. It will enable the storage of medical data and information exchange systems for a mobile phone-based application. This project has been completed by a team led by Professor Prabhu Rajagopal, Lead Faculty for Remote Diagnostics, Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation (CNDE), Department of Mechanical Engineering. BlockTrack system aims to securely digitize Healthcare Information systems while protecting sensitive personal information and medical records by decentralizing the control and ownership of patient data. Strong emphasis has been placed on data privacy and tracking the spread of infectious diseases across geographies. It also allows the interoperability of systems from multiple hospitals, institutes, and healthcare organizations. To protect this innovation, a provisional IP is also filed with Indian Patent Office. 


Date: 13.04.2021 

Facebook’s Efforts to Tackle Hate Speech and Misinformation Amidst Elections 

Facebook has announced that in preparation for the upcoming elections in the Indian States (T.N, W.B, Assam, Kerala, and Puducherry (U.T)), it takes stringent steps to curb the dissemination of misinformation and hate speech. It acknowledges that a particular form of content like hate speech can incite violence to cause imminent harm offline. Facebook plans to make considerable investments for proactive detection technologies to make it more effective to identify content that violates hate speech guidelines. It states, once the content is detected, even before the decision of its removal, its dissemination would be stopped. Moreover, it will limit the delivery of content for persistent violators’ s account. Further, it will remind the voters to cast a vote by creating an Election Day notification that provides accurate information and encourages them to vote.  


Date: 13.04.2021 

Co-WIN portal stops allowing physical verification of Aadhaar

Content: Vaccine beneficiaries who have registered on the government’s Co-WIN platform by providing their Aadhaar information can no longer authenticate their ID at the vaccine center by just showing the physical ID. They’ll have to authenticate their ID with a one-time passcode sent to their phone. Then, they’ll have to go through biometric authentication and facial recognition tests. This will be cross-checked with the UIDAI’s data on the beneficiary. Such time-consuming authentication can lead to crowding at the vaccination center.  Authenticating oneself during a Co-WIN vaccination leads to the generation of a National Health ID. While this requires consent, it is buried in documentation on the Co-WIN portal. It is not always informed to the beneficiary either.  


Date: 12.04.2021 

MoRTH sold vehicle data even before the bulk data sharing policy: Report 

An investigative report published by ‘The Wire’ finds that the Union government sold a copy of both the databases to a private Indian company even before it drafted a policy. Fast Lane Automotive Pvt. Ltd. (Fast Lane), a Delhi based automotive technology firm, proposed to buy the vehicle registration database from the government.  The company was already a part of a similar deal with the UK government. The government decided to sell the entire database for a price of Rs. 1 crore / year (BDSP set it at 3 crores/ year). However, it should be noted that there was neither any policy set out for such a sale, nor any official tender or bidding process. In March 2019, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) issued a ‘Bulk Data Sharing Policy & Procedure’. Under this policy, MoRTH laid down the procedure through which corporates, educational institutions, and law enforcement could buy data of driving licenses and vehicle registration certificates. On June 26th 2020, MoRTH scrapped this policy over privacy concerns. 


Date: 12.04.2021 

The unintended consequence of RBI’s new card rules

Content: The Reserve Bank of India has new rules for card payments. These will be applicable from 31st December 2021. According to the new rules, merchants and payment aggregators cannot store customer card credentials in their databases. However, UPI handle/Virtual Payment Address can be stored. While this will provide a massive boost to UPI and Bharat Bill Payments System, there are legitimate security concerns. There is a unified view that the largest frauds occur using UPI. In the short-term there will be a great inconvenience to all the parties involved. Currently, subscription of services such as Netflix, Hotstar, etc. get automatically renewed through card payments. The same will take a hit and might even end up making customers conscious of the payments they incur.  


Date: 10.04.2021 

Another Facebook Data Breach surfaces, Telegram Bot found selling data

Content: Motherboard reported that an online tool lets customers pay to unmask the phone numbers of Facebook users that liked a specific Facebook Page. The report also confirms that the database is different from the 533 million account database. A bot on telegram does the same. To get the information, you have to enter the Unique Identification Code of the Facebook page. Post this, customers can pay and get the data. The bot offers data for free if a page has under 100 likes. However, it doesn’t necessarily give out information of all users who follow the page. This data can be misused and sold as leads to companies as it covers a large amount of information.


Date: 10.04.2021  

FB’s ads delivery system shows gender bias: Study 

According to a new report, Facebook’s ad delivery system is biased against women, showing them different job listings than men. 

According to The Verge, researchers at the University of Southern California discovered that Facebook’s ad distribution system discriminates against women. The researchers purchased Facebook advertisements for delivery driver work openings with common qualification criteria for various companies. 

According to the results, Facebook targeted more women for the Instacart delivery job and more men for the Domino’s delivery job. Instacart has more female drivers, while Domino’s has more male drivers, according to the researchers. 


Date: 09.04.2021  

“Google now prioritizes in-depth research to rank product review” 

Google has revised its product review algorithm to Favour in-depth, well-researched content over brief product summaries. The update’s main goal is to provide users with useful information. For the time being, the update only affects English-language content. In a blog post, Google published a list of considerations to consider for those producing content in order to create positive product reviews. In March, Google added the Full Coverage feature to its search. 


Date 09.04.2021  

“Significant” cyberattack of European Commission reported 

Last week, a major cyber-attack targeted a number of European Union institutions, including the European Commission. 

According to a commission’s spokesperson, a number of EU bodies “had an IT security incident in their IT networks.” The forensic investigation into the incident is still in its early stages, according to the spokesperson, and it is too early to provide any definitive details about the nature of the attack. 

The EC did not provide any information about the essence of the incident or the attackers’ identities. 

Date: 09.04.2021 

New Copyright Rules make Copyright Registration of Source Code easier 

The Indian government has notified the Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021 vide a Gazette notification dated 30th March 2021. The amendments aim to bring the existing rules in consonance with the relevant legislation. Further, it aims to ensure smooth compliance in the light of technological advancements by enabling electronic means as a primary mode of communication and working in the Copyright Office. Rule 7 of the Copyright Rules, 2013, deals with ‘Compulsory Licenses in works withheld from the public.’ Earlier, an applicant had to apply with the copyright office and also had to serve a copy of the application to the owner of the copyright through the registered post, but now amendment includes electronic means as well. Similar changes are made under Sec.39. Further, amendments incorporate a new Rule 55(3) that says copyright societies shall create a payment system through electronic modes and shall establish a system through which the payments so made are traceable. Rule 70(5), which governs copyright registration of source code, has been amended too. Earlier, it mandated that application shall be accompanied by the source and object code but now reduced to at least the first ten pages and last ten pages of source code, or the entire source code if less than 20 pages, with no blocked out or redacted portions. 


Date: 09.04.2021 

UK launches Digital Markets Unit to regulate anti-competitive practices 

Recently the United Kingdom launched a new regulatory watchdog, the Digital Markets Unit (DMU). The DMU is established under the Competitive and Markets Authority (CMA). The objective is to police allegations of anti-competitive behavior on BigTech firms, including Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. This step would enhance the online competition by keeping a check on tech giants for exploiting their market dominance in an anti-competitive manner. The UK government considered that few firms practice monopoly and thus adversely affect the businesses and consumers. The Unit has to start with the practical application of a code of conduct to govern the relationship between digital platforms and small businesses. Primarily, the ones that are dependent on big techs either for advertisements or connect with their customers.


Date: 09.04.2021  

China’s Digital Yuan Moves into Second Phase of Trials, Successfully Tests Cross-Border Payment 

Recently, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) started the second phase of its central Bank-backed Digital Currency (CBDC) and tested its potential in cross-border payments with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. During the first phase last year, China gave $1.5 million worth of digital yuan in selected cities, including locations in Beijing, where the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held. In its second phase, the city of Changsha was added for rolling out CBDC. China’s CBDC follows a two-tier model. In its first tier, the PBC issues digital yuan to the payment companies and banks, whereas in the second one, these banks and payment companies distribute yuan among their customers. 


Date: 09.04.2021 

LinkedIn Data Breach leaks data of 500 Mn users; posted online for sale 

Data of 500 million users out of the 740+ million users LinkedIn has, has been breached. The data was scraped from the platform and posted online for sale. The leaked data includes personal information of users. The LinkedIn official spokesperson confirmed the attack and further said that, the information was scraped from publicly viewable combined with data aggregated from other websites or companies. Scraping out members’ data violates the terms of service of LinkedIn.  The threat that now looms is of possible attack on many companies through their employees. The sample proof dumped by the hacker does not contain any financial information of users such as credit card details or legal documents. However the leaked information can be used for phishing or social engineering attacks. The hacker is asking for a four-digit amount in USD, in exchange for the breached data, likely in the form of Bitcoins.


Date: 09.04.2021 

Facebook axes 16,000 groups for trading fake reviews after UK intervenes 

Facebook has removed 16,000 groups for selling or buying fake reviews of products and services on its platforms. Facebook has made further changes to detect, remove and prevent paid content that could mislead users on its platforms, including Instagram. Facebook has worked and engaged extensively with UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for the same. Reviews help users make an informed choice while shopping online. With more and more people buying online, it becomes important to ensure that the reviews are genuine. Thus, making this move altogether more important. 


Date: 08.04.2021  

“China’s Digital Yuan Moves into Second Phase of Trials, Successfully Tests Cross-Border Payment” 

Recently, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) started the second phase of its central Bank-backed Digital Currency (CBDC) and tested its potential in cross-border payments with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. During the first phase last year, China gave $1.5 million worth of digital yuan in selected cities, including locations in Beijing, where the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held. In its second phase, the city of Changsha was added for rolling out CBDC. China’s CBDC follows a two-tier model. In its first tier, the PBC issues digital yuan to the payment companies and banks, whereas in the second one, these banks and payment companies distribute yuan among their customers. 


Date: 08.04.2021 

Visa becomes first card network to settle transactions in cryptocurrency 

Visa Inc. is the first major card network to settle transactions in crypto-currencies. It will now directly accept payments in USD Coin. USD Coin is pegged to the US Dollar. It is stable, secure, and in demand. Thus, making it the perfect first fit for Visa. Visa uses Ethereum blockchain to carry out the settlement. With this move, payments in USDC will be sent directly to Visa’s Ethereum address at Anchorage (federally charted digital asset bank) to settle its obligations. This will surely encourage more payment companies to accept crypto-currencies. Mastercard is already working on the same and Visa will further add more partners later in the year.  


Date: 08.04.2021 

Google LLC vs. Oracle America, INC: Brief 

The Google v Oracle legal battle in the US Supreme Court has finally come to an end after 11 years. The court has ruled in Google’s favor for the API copyright issue. Oracle holds the copyright in JavaSE. Google had copied about 11,500 lines of code from the Java SE software to enable millions of programmers familiar with the Java programming language to work with its new Android platform. It was contending this usage as “fair usage” while Oracle claimed damages to the tune of $9 billion. It was the Court’s opinion that enforcing Oracle’s copyright would “risk damage to the public”. Creating alternatives will be costly and complex. If fair use was not to be granted, only Oracle would have access to the code, thus hindering copyright’s simple innovation goals and filling Oracle’s coffers.  


Date: 08.04.2021 

Apple releases a reminder for the new App Tracking Transparency feature 

The iOS 14.5 update will contain a privacy feature called the App Tracking Transparency (ATT). It will ensure that until the apps or developers receive permission from the user to enable tracking, it will be unable to track them. This will protect the personal data of the users and prevent unwanted apps from tracking the users on other websites and apps unless the user consents to it. Developers are required to state what kind of tracking their app will undertake. A purpose string will be made available to the users. This string will explain why it is necessary for the application to track them. Collecting device and usage data that helps developers profile the user will violate the developer program’s license agreement. This development is the right step in making iOS a privacy – friendly OS and shifting the authority to the user’s hand. 


Date: 07.04.2021 

RBI Increases Deposit Limit for Payments Banks, New Measures for PPIs 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to increase the deposit limit for payments banks to Rs 2 lakh per individual customer from Rs 1 lakh at present with immediate effect. Further, the central bank has also increased the limit of pre-paid instruments (PPI) to Rs 2 lakh per individual customer and has directed players to ensure their services are interoperable. Additionally, RBI has decided to permit non-bank PPIs that fulfill the full-KYC criteria to offer cash withdrawal services. Further, it announced that non-bank payment entities and other regulated payment entities would be given access to both RTGS and NEFT here on out. This is done to minimize settlement risk in the financial system and enhance digital financial services’ reach to all user segments. However, these would not be eligible for any liquidity facility from the Reserve Bank to facilitate settlement of their transactions in these Centralized Payment Systems. 


Date: 07.04.2021 

Signal Starts Testing Privacy-Focused Payments Feature Based on Cryptocurrencies 

Signal, the messaging app, announced on Tuesday that it is testing a new peer-to-peer payment system. The new feature, “Signal Payments,” will support the MobileCoin wallet protocol, which has its own cryptocurrency, “MOB.” Initially, the feature is rolled out to the beta users in the United Kingdom, which the company plans to expand to other countries. The company claims that the payment feature is an attempt to extend Signal’s privacy feature to payments. Since the feature is solely dependent on cryptocurrency and it is doubtful of its acceptance wherein the government is considering banning cryptocurrency outrightly.


Date: 07.04.2021 

More companies, including PayPal and Starbucks, are accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment, despite volatility warnings 

Coinciding with the outlook of cryptocurrency being volatile is the increasing acceptability of it. Last year, Burger King Venezuela announced that it will be accepting bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. More recently, Tesla’s announcement in February of the same created waves. Yum Brands, operating KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill, partnered with CryptoBuyer to accept cryptocurrencies. Xbox also accepts bitcoin payments for Xbox store credits. PayPal allows users to buy, sell, and hold selective cryptocurrencies, as well as track their crypto, through their Cash or Cash Plus accounts from 2021 onwards. Coca-Cola too accepts cryptocurrency in about 2000 of its vending machines in Australia and New Zealand. Starbucks too has recently launched its digital wallet application through which bitcoin can be converted to USD to reload the Starbucks Card. 


Date: 06.04.2021 

CJI launches AI-driven Assistance Portal for Supreme Court Judges 

On 6th April 2021 the Chief Justice of India, S. A. Bobde, launched the Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency (SUPACE) through videoconferencing. SUPACE is an AI-driven assistance portal that will help collect relevant facts and laws and makes them available to a judge. SUPACE’s role is limited to processing facts, giving all the information and analyzing the examples. Put simply, it will streamline the tedious work of research that requires numerous manhours but not engage in the decision-making. The decision-making power will, as always, rest with the Court. All doubts about SUPACE’s impact on judgments can thus be put to rest. This move will definitely assist the judges, court staff, and litigants and will speed up the pace of the judiciary. 


Date: 06.04.2021 

Visa announces Settling Transactions with Crypto Partners in USDC On Ethereum 

Visa, the credit card provider, has announced its acceptance of the first settlement payment in U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) from its global crypto wallet partner over Ethereum blockchain. This step signifies the launch of a new initiative that enables to settle a part of its obligations for the Visa card program in USDC. Anchorage, the first federally chartered digital asset bank and Visa’s digital currency settlement partner, served as a custodian during the transaction from to Visa’s Ethereum address at the bank. Moreover, Visa reveals plans to collaborate with other partners this year. The current settlement process settles transactions in fiat currency wherein the additional cost of a conversion rate is to be paid, but they plan to make changes and settle obligations directly in USDC. 


Date: 05/04/2021 

WazirX has launched India’s first NFT Marketplace 

Non-fungible Asset (NFT) is a blockchain-based marketplace. Each NFT is unique, and cannot be replicated, thus making it a one-of-a-kind commodity. NFT is a great asset to artists, publishers, and people in similar industries who wish to push digital sales but also maintain their copyrights. Indians can now make use of this technology too by using WazirX. WazirX is India’s first NFT marketplace. Digital assets and intellectual properties (art, audio files, images, programs etc) can now be easily shared using WazirX. Developing and listing NFTs on WazirX is not charged. The only expense is that of gas fees charged by miners to validate the transactions. WazirX is working to remove the same. This will truly revolutionize our interaction with technology.  


Date 05.03.2021                

SpaceX faces its first hurdle to introduce satellite broadband in India. 

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Technologies faces its first hurdle to introduce satellite broadband in India. 

An industry group representing Amazon, Hughes, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to prohibit SpaceX from pre-selling the beta version of its services in India. It stated that SpaceX lacked a government license or authorization to provide such services in the region. 


Date 31.03.2021  

Twitter has locked FSMI’s Account 

The Twitter page of the Free Software Movement of India has been locked, according to Y Kiran Chandra, the FSMI’s Secretary General. This means that the account is unable to send any tweets.  

The reason for locking of the account is that FSMI tweeted a copy of a complaint letter regarding data breach at  BigBasket. Twitter locked the account — for “posting private information” — before the tweet was deleted.  


Date 31.03.2021                                                                                 

UP Government to propose new law to control online gambling 

As the central government prepares to repeal the Public Gambling Act of 1867 states are required to enact their own gambling laws. Following these lines Uttar Pradesh has begun the process of enacting a new law to regulate gambling, including online gambling, 

Although gambling is a state issue, and states are free to create their own rules, many rely on the colonial-era Public Gambling Act, which distinguishes between games of skill and games of chance and exempts the former from punishment. The Act makes public gambling and maintaining a gaming house illegal. It remains to be seen if Uttar Pradesh will make both skill and chance games illegal or not.  


Date 25.03.2021  

Facebook to introduce new app for prisoners transitioning back to society 

As part of an apparent company-wide initiative to create more goods and services for marginalized groups. Facebook is developing a tool for people transitioning from prison to society,  

On Wednesday, a promotion for new apps called The Re-Entry App appeared at the top of several Instagram users’ feeds. Users were asked to press for early access to try the app and provide input after receiving the notification, which offered assistance with “preparing for life after incarceration with community support.” 


Date 25.03.2021  

Twitter Users to get more control over their data: Dorsey 

In a written statement to the US House of Representatives, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated that the company is developing new tools to combat disinformation, as well as improving transparency around content management, ads, and data protection policies. Investing in these resources will provide users greater control over their data and the algorithms that govern their timelines. 

Dorsey stated that Twitter’s policies are based on three fundamental rights: freedom of speech, protection, and privacy. However, since these rights can clash at times, the company’s policies must strike a balance between them and be adaptable to changes in actions and changing circumstances, he explained.  

Dorsey said that the organization must be more open, support procedural fairness and preference, and preserve privacy to overcome the confidence deficit. 


Date: 25.03.2021 

No. Amazon is not offering free gifts to all; that WhatsApp message is fake 

new fake message is now doing the rounds, informing users that Amazon is giving gifts to a hundred users “on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.” When clicked on the link, it takes us to a survey, which even has the Amazon logo on it and can fool a lot of people. After filling the survey, you then have to choose a box from a set of nine, and one has a present. The link then says that in order to claim the prize, the user needs to forward the link to 5 groups or 20 friends on WhatsApp. 


Date 24.03.2021  

Google signs deal with Italian news publishers 

Google announced that it had signed a license agreement with a number of Italian publishers to provide news content through News Showcase, a new platform that makes news available on Google’s news website. 

This deal includes Italy’s RCS Mediagroup, which publishes the daily Corriere della Sera as well as popular sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport, the publisher of financial daily Il Sole 24 ore, Caltagirone editore, which owns the Rome-based paper Il Messaggero, and Monrif, which publishes local papers like Il Giorno and La Nazione. 


Date: 23.03.2021 

London City Police wage war against Sci-Hub 

The Town of London Law enforcement has accused common shadow library internet site Sci-Hub of staying behind at least 42 cyber-attacks on UK universities. 

Founded in 2011 by programmer Alexandra Elbakyan in response to the high costs and limited accessibility of scientific research papers, Sci-Hub illegally obtains publications in order to then make them available for free for students worldwide. 


Date: 23.03.2021 

Facebook supposedly took down 1.3 billion fake accounts in October-December 

Facebook Inc said it took down 1.3 billion fake accounts between October and December and that it had over 35,000 people working on tackling misinformation on its platform. The company also removed more than 12 million pieces of content about COVID-19 and vaccines that global health experts flagged as misinformation, it said in a blog post. 


Date: 22.03.2021 

Transport Ministry, NHAI on Alert as CERT-In Warns of Cyber Threat 

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on 21 March, alerted National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and other such wings to strengthen their IT security systems, as per reported news agency PTI. This comes after reports of a possible cyber-attack on the Indian transport sector. 

The alert comes just two weeks after a Chinese state-sponsored group known as Red Echo was found to have intruded into the networks of India’s power plants and sea ports. 

The union transport ministry, in a statement, said that it received an alert from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). 


Date: 22.03.2021

“Netflix is hiring ‘Risk and Intelligence’, Payment Policy execs in India.”

Netflix is hiring a manager for “Risk & Intelligence” based in Mumbai for the Asia Pacific territory, whose portfolio will include “[providing] security and intelligence support to Content, Production, PR and Public Policy” and “Support the Public Policy team in evaluating scripts and pitches for security concerns”.

It’s not clear if that latter responsibility includes vetting scripts to evaluate themes that could get the company into trouble. In any case, Netflix is likely treading with caution, as is the entire streaming industry in the country

The company is also hiring a policy executive to focus on “favourable regulations for digital payments”. This executive would “work towards proactively establishing, deepening relationships with relevant policymakers, influencers and advocates- more specifically in the Payments space including but not limited to RBI & Ministry of Finance, among others.


Date: 22.03.2021

“Government wants to Block IP Addresses of Crypto-Exchanges Post Moratorium: Report”

The government is considering to block the internet protocol (IP) addresses of prominent crypto-currency exchanges in India. The move will be implemented after a three to six month window for investors to square their crypto-investments

The announcement came as a shock to the crypto-currency community in the country as they have been operating freely for almost a year, since the Supreme Court struck down the RBI’s April 2018 circular which barred banks for dealing with crypto-currency firms. However, the Finance Minister has since clarified that the government will give investors a window to square their holdings. It is important to note that even if the government blocks the IP addresses of crypto-currency trading and investment platforms, users can access any website through Virtual Private Networks.

The government’s concerns with crypto-currencies are two-fold. The first, is that crypto-currencies are global and sovereigns have very little control on speculative activity in these assets. The second, is that crypto-currencies can be used to finance frauds, ponzi schemes, terrorism financing and money laundering.


Date: 18.03.2021  

‘Facebook starts removing political and social groups from recommendations.’ 

Facebook Inc has announced that it is starting to remove the recommendations it gives global users for political and social issue Facebook groups, a move it has billed as turning down tension on the site. 

The company also announced in a blog post changes aimed at reducing the reach of groups that break site rules, including showing them lower in algorithmic recommendations and alerting people when they go to join a group that has previously violated policies. 


Date: 18/03/2021 

‘Google’s privacy push draws U.S. antitrust scrutiny.’ 

According to the U.S. justice department investigation, Google plans to block “cookies”, A web tracking tool. Last year Google has announced that it would ban some cookies in its Chrome browser to increases user privacy on chrome. Google Chrome has a 60% global market share in ads. So, Google didn’t want to skip any loophole concerned with their users’ private data. A spokeswoman said that, an alternative to cookies that Google is leading called the privacy Sandbox that could allow businesses to target individuals, among other proposals stars of consumers without identifying. Last week google vice president said that “We don’t believe tracking individuals across the web stand the test of time as privacy concern continue to accelerate” 


Date: 18.03.2021 

‘Petition to struck down IT Rules 2021’ 

Advocate Sanjay Kumar Singh has petitioned the Delhi High Court, arguing that the IT Rules 2021 are unconstitutional and should be struck down. He said that multiple provisions of the Rules do not meet the constitutional requirements of placing restrictions on free speech and expression, deserve to be struck down.


Date: 17.03.2021 

‘Sri Lanka’s Net Neutrality Violation’ 

Sri Lanka’s telecom operators have been violating Net Neutrality, the principle that traffic on the internet should not be discriminated. Plans frequently offer access to social media services like Facebook and WhatsApp for free, while metering other internet traffic. The end result has been that customers have been left with low data allowances and are locked into tariff plans were streaming services and social media networks blessed by network operators get unrestricted access to consumers, while the rest of the internet is subject to low limits. 


Date: 16.03.2021  

‘Facebook signs deal with Corp in Australia.’ 

News Corp has signed a three-year agreement with Facebook to post its news content on the social media site in Australia. The agreement is identical to one struck by News Corporation with Google, which is also a signatory to the Media Bargaining Code. 

The agreement marks the culmination of a lengthy and complicated negotiation between Google and Facebook, as well as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The News Media Bargaining Code of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had forced the two Big Tech firms to enter into arbitration with news publishers to determine a price for the latter’s material. 


Date: 16.03.2021  

‘Microsoft organized digital governance roadshow in Maharashtra’ 

Microsoft India launched a digital governance state roadshow in Maharashtra, as part of its initiative to collaborate with the public sector and accelerate India’s digital transformation. The virtual roadshow is a knowledge-sharing forum for debating the importance and potential of technologies such as cloud computing, data, and artificial intelligence (AI) in transforming governance. 

It brings together government officials from around the country to advance a conversation about how technology can help accelerate economic and social change. 


Date: 16/03/2021 

‘Apple’s ad tool faces initial probe from French privacy watchdog’ 

France’s data protection watchdog started an investigation against Apple for its personalized advertising feature. They said that this feature violates European Union privacy rules. They say that Apple personalized advertising features in their app without the prior consent of their users. Users are insufficiently informed about the use of their data. There might be a chance that CNIL, investigating agency, give their report that they may impose sanction under EU’s data protection or E- privacy rules. Spokespeople for Apple didn’t reply on this matter, but previously they said that privacy is built into the ads we sell on our platform with no tracking.


Date: 16.03.2021 

‘China to increase scrutiny on internet giants’ 

China warned its Internet giants that it would not tolerate monopolistic practices and would increase scrutiny. Also, it slapped fines and announced probes into deals involving Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings. The State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) said it would fine Alibaba, Tencent-backed China Literature and Shenzhen Hive Box 500,000 yuan ($76,464) each, the maximum under a 2008 anti-monopoly law, for not reporting past deals properly for anti-trust reviews. 


Date: 16.03.2021 

‘Vodafone fined £7 million in Spain for repeated GDPR violations’ 

The Spanish facts safety authority has fined Vodafone €8.15 million (approximately £7 million) for intense telemarketing techniques and recurring knowledge security failures. It is the mixture of four different penalties, with the Spanish Data Defense Agency’s (AEPD) conclusion incorporating 191 statements with regards to the firm’s data processing and consent tactics. Vodafone Spain had authorized global facts transfers without making sure that they were appropriate safeguards, and, on some occasions, Vodafone regularly contacted customers with no their prior consent. 


Date: 15/03/2021 

‘More than 32 Indian companies have been attacked by cyber criminals using Microsoft’s email servers.’ 

At least 32 Indian organizations have been attacked by hackers who exploited vulnerabilities in unpatched Microsoft business email servers. The finance and banking institutions have been hit the most in the country. 

The finance and banking institutions (28 per cent) in India are followed by government\military organizations (16 per cent), manufacturing (12.5 per cent), insurance\legal (9.5 per cent) and others (34 per cent), according to Check Point Research. 


Date: 13.03.2021  

‘Google to enable Vaccine Centre discovery in India.’ 

Microsoft India launched a digital governance state roadshow in Maharashtra, as part of its initiative to collaborate with the public sector and accelerate India’s digital transformation. The virtual roadshow is a knowledge-sharing forum for debating the importance and potential of technologies such as cloud computing, data, and artificial intelligence (AI) in transforming governance. 

It brings together government officials from around the country to advance a conversation about how technology can help accelerate economic and social change. 


Date: 12/03/2021 

‘Verkada Inc, camera management platform, was hacked revealing thousands of hours of footage from over 150,000 surveillance cameras’ 

A Silicon Valley startup Verkada Inc, a closed-circuit TV, and camera management platform, was hacked by a group of hackers. Verkada Inc provides its services to companies like Tesla, Cloudfare, Halifax Health, and Madison County Jail in Alabama and all of whose camera feeds were compromised as part of the hack. However, the hackers surprisingly found that Verkada had implemented a facial-recognition technology to its services.  

One of the hackers said that the hacking group was able to obtain root access on the cameras through a Super Admin account for which, the user and password were publicly exposed on the internet. They were able to then use this access to pivot and gain access to the broader network of Verkada’s customers. They could hijack cameras and use them as a platform to launch future hacks. The company has tasked an internal team and an external security firm to investigate the incident, company has also disabled all internal administrator accounts to prevent any unauthorized access.


Date 12.03.2021  

‘Google and Facebook’s lobbying to fight against a Bill’ 

Lobbyists for Facebook and Google have spoken out against new US legislation that aims to help distressed news outlets by allowing them to jointly negotiate revenue sharing and other agreements with tech giants. 

The plan was introduced in Congress to resolve a perceived power gap between news organisations and tech behemoths. The companies are accused of using content to drive traffic and ad revenue to their platforms without fairly compensating the publishers, according to critics. 

The move adds to the burden on tech companies, which are already under fire from antitrust litigation and the possibility of increased regulation.


Date: 11/03/2021 

‘MEITY: No data about losses due to online games’ 

As aresponse to a question in the parliament, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology does not keep data on incidents of financial losses and suicides as a result of online gambling in the country.


Date: 11/03/2021 

‘57% of Indian WhatsApp users believe their chats are used to target ads’ 

According to a survey from the Center for Competition, Investment, and Economic Regulation of the Consumer Unity and Trust Society, around 57% of WhatsApp users in India believe that they are being shown ads because of their private chats. The survey seeks to measure the extent of Indians’ understanding of end-to-end encryption and how much they value messaging privately.


Date: 10/03/2021 

‘Twitter Speed Slowed Down in Russia’ 

Russia’s state communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor said it was restricting the use of Twitter by slowing down its speed, accusing the social media platform of repeatedly failing to remove banned content from its site. “The slowing down will be applied on a 100 percent of mobile devices and on 50 percent of non-mobile devices,”.


Date 08.03.2021  

Flaw in Microsoft’s Software compromises US Organizations 

A back door access created via recently patched vulnerabilities in Microsoft Corp’s email programme has compromised more than 20,000 US organizations. According to documents from the US investigation, the new hack has spread remote access networks among credit unions, town governments, and small businesses. According to the records, tens of thousands of organizations in Asia and Europe are also affected.  Despite Microsoft’s emergency patches, the hacking continues. 


Date: 08.03.2021

“Banking and Payment services disrupted due to new SMS Rule”

Recently telecom companies began to scrub SMS messages that were not registered with a Blockchain system maintained by telecos. This new system was supposed to block fraudulent SMS messages but in the interim has interrupted regular financial services. The new system mandates telemarketers to register the SMS formats of their respective clients on the blockchain. But as banks, payment companies and other financial services players did not register their SMS formats in time with the telcos and on the blockchain system, many of customers did not receive OTPs in order to authenticate transactions

Because of this the TRAI deferred the roll out of the SMS scrubbing system by seven days. It said that telecos have to ensure that all SMS senders or principle entities should be on-board to avoid such similar situation in future.


Date: 08.03.2021 

“Russia rebukes Facebook for blocking some media posts” 

Russia accused Facebook of violating citizens’ rights by blocking some media outlets’ content. It said Facebook blocked posts pertaining to Russia’s detention of alleged supporters of a Ukrainian far-right group. 


Date 05.03.2021  

“YouTube remove Myanmar Military-run TV channels from its platforms” 

After Facebook banned Myanmar’s Military-run social media handles from its platform, Alphabet’s YouTube has also removed five channels of military-run television network from its platform. The list of channels includes state network, MRTV, (Myanma Radio and Television) as well as the military-owned Myawaddy Media, MWD Variety, and MWD Myanmar. Their removal comes during the bloodiest week of anti-coup protests, with 38 people killed on Wednesday alone.  


Date: 05.03.2021 

“Renew Driving License Using Aadhaar Authentication” 

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has eased the citizens of India with the launch of contactless services linked through Aadhar authentication. The services include making a learner’s license, renewing a driving license, obtaining a duplicate driving license, and vehicle registration application, among other things, can be done via a portal, using Aadhaar-authentication, and won’t require an RTO visit. This authentication is voluntary.


Date: 05.03.2021 

“Microsoft Teams to get end-to-end encryption” 

Microsoft is adding end-to-end (E2E) encryption to calls made on Microsoft Teams. An E2E encryption option will be made available to commercial users of Microsoft Teams over the first half of 2021, but it will only be supported on 1:1 call; the company said it will add the security feature to online meetings later. 


Date: 05.03.2021 

“Thousands of Android and iOS Apps Leak Data from the Cloud” 

According to a mobile security firm, Thousands of Android and iOS apps exposed user data due to commonly found cloud misconfigurations. The issues could allow malicious attackers to exploit the leaked information. The researchers found misconfiguration problems on apps using popular public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Among other apps, a mobile wallet developed by a Fortune 500 company was spotted exposing session and payment information of users that could lead to fraud. 


Date: 05.03.2021 

“Apple may face EU antitrust charge on Spotify complaint” 

Spotify in its 2019 complaint to the Commission said Apple unfairly restricts rivals to its own music steaming service Apple Music and also protested against the 30 percent fee levied on app developers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system (IAP). The European Commission could send the statement of objections setting out suspected violations of the bloc’s antitrust rules to Apple before the summer. 


Date: 05.03.2021 

“Airline data hack: hundreds of thousands of Star Alliance passengers’ details stolen” 

Air transport IT supplier SITA has said that hundreds of thousands of passengers have had their data stolen following a cyber-attack on its systems. Data on hundreds of thousands of airline passengers around the world has been hacked via a “highly sophisticated” attack on the IT systems operator that serves around 90% of the global aviation industry. 


Date 04.03.2021  

“Facebook resumes political ads in the US” 

Lifting the temporary ban on political advertisement in the US, Facebook has resumed the political, electoral, and social ads on its platform.


Date 03.03.2021  

“Meity has included IBM as its cloud service provider” 

To empower public sectors in India, the tech company IBM has announced a full cloud service provider (CSP) empanelment from the Ministry of Electronics and IT. This empanelment will encourage the Indian public sector to enter the industry’s most secure and open clout platform. Such inclusive steps are taken to drive innovation and growth in the country.  


Date 02.03.2021  

“Twitter to introduce new strike system.” 

To curb the spread of misleading information on its platform, twitter has announced to label such tweet. The platform has introduced strike system in which getting 5 or more strikes may lead to permanent suspension of the account. 

One strike will have no effect but a second strike will be led to a 12-hour account lock, 4 strikes to 7-day account lock, and 5 or more will result in permanent suspension of the account. 


Date: 2/03/2021 

“US government asked Google to Provide Detailed Search Data” 

The US government asked Google provide information on how its search engine works and makes money. The U.S. Department of Justice and several state attorneys general are seeking comparable data on U.S. search results and related ads from Feb. 2, 2015 to Feb. 8, 2015 and from Feb. 3, 2020 to Feb. 9, 2020, according to a legal filing Monday.



“Facebook To Pay $650 Million For Facial Recognition Feature as US Judge Approves Privacy Settlement.” 

US judge has approved the settlement in the case of using facial recognition by Facebook. He approved the settlement between Facebook and the company for $650million. The allegation against Facebook was that Facebook has violated the Illinois Biometric information privacy Act. This legislation requires companies to obtain written permission from the subject before the collection of a person’s biometric information. 


Date 01.03.2021 

“Indian Mobile retailers demand for probe on Amazon.” 

All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) has sent a letter PM Modi demanding probe into Amazon’s unfair treatment with sellers. A report of Reuters was cited which revealed Amazon’s preferential treatment to small group of sellers on its platform. The report stated that 35 out of 4,00,000 plus sellers in India account for around 2/3rd of its online sales in 2019. 

AIMRA also demanded to put a cap on the single seller’s daily smartphone sales. 


Date: 01.3.2021 

“Facebook stands against Apple’s tracking protection.” 

Apple’s upcoming iOS 14.5 update is set to enforce its App Tracking Transparency feature, which makes it mandatory for all apps to ask for user consent before they collect their data to track them across apps and services. Users can also choose to opt out of the tracking, something that Facebook has fought against vehemently as being bad not just for their business but also for small businesses, the company claims. 


Date: 01.03.2021 

“Mumbai blackout sponsored by China: New Study” 

A new study now shows that power outage (Blackout) in the entire city of Mumbai on 13th October 2020 could be a Chinese cyber-attack on the critical infrastructure of Indian City. This might be in the aftermath of the confrontation of soldiers of the two nations in the Galwan Valley and blockage of 267 Chinese Apps in India. The National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) has alerted about Chinese state sponsored threat actor group known as Red Echo targeting regional load dispatch centers (RLDCs) and state load dispatch centers (SLDCs). 


Date: 01.03.2021 

“Surveillance Capitalism and Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.” 

The word ‘Surveillance Capitalism’, was first used by Shoshana Zuboff. It is a phenomenon where companies ‘commodify’ personal data with the aim to make profits and create markets by manipulating individual behavior. The accumulation of massive amounts of personal data, and increased use of it to influence the behavior of public is a growing threat. India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 aims to recognize this issue by terming it ‘profiling’ by use of data’. It mandates additional safeguards, where personal data is used repetitively for purposes of profiling. It allows profiling only after intermediaries undertake a data protection impact assessment. The bill also aims to regulate business models that are making profit through surveillance of individuals and processing their sensitive personal data. 


Date 01.03.2021  

“China to regulate misbehaving apps to curb personal information leaks.” 

China is set to improve its detection technologies to find “loopholes” in information protection and to regulate the mobile app market. In December 2020, the Chinese regulators unveiled draft guidelines to limit collection of personal data by mobile apps. 

March, 2021



“Hackers are going after SBI users with a scam that offers credit points worth Rs. 9,870.” 

Several users of the State Bank of India (SBI) have been targeted with a phishing scam where hackers have flooded them with suspicious text messages, requesting them to redeem their SBI credit points. 

The link associated with the text messages redirects the user to a fake website and on loaded page, the user is asked to submit personal information along with sensitive financial details like CVV. According to CyberPeace Foundation and Autobot Infosec Private ltd, the website collects data directly without any verification and is registered by a third party.



Date 26.02.2021 

“Centre has announced the threshold for Significant Social Media Intermediaries.” 

The Centre has notified the threshold for Significant Social Media Intermediaries a day after notifying the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The new rules bifurcate “Social Media Intermediaries” and “Significant Social Media Intermediaries”. The latter has to comply with additional compliances than the other one.   

The government has set the threshold at 50 Lakh (or 5 Million) registers users in India.  



Date 25.02.2021 

“Facebook removes accounts affiliated with Myanmar’s Military”  

Facebook is removing all the accounts associated with Myanmar’s Military, Military-controlled state, media entities, and commercial entities from Facebook and Instagram.  

Severe human rights abuse and risk of future ‘military initiated violence in Myanmar’ are the reasons for this decision.  This decision is emanated from the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar’s 2019 report along with UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 

Ministries and agencies associated with essential public services have been excluded from this decision. 



Date: 25. 02. 2021 

“NHS faces legal battle over data deal” 

Lawsuit was filed against NHS for a data deal made with controversial US data firm Palantir. In March 2020 NHS awarded Palantir an emergency contract to assist in handling the COVID pandemic. The Open Democracy is accusing the government of USA of “quietly” giving Palantir a contract extension in December and a “major, long-term” role handling NHS data. The new two-year contract reaches beyond COVID and into areas like Brexit and more, the organization said.   




“Chinese Hackers Using Firefox Extension to Spy on Tibetan Organizations” 

Chinese Hackers are using a customized malicious Mozilla Firefox browser extension that facilitated access and control of users’ Gmail accounts. A phishing operation is carried out using a phishing email impersonating the “Tibetan Women’s Association” using a TA413-linked Gmail account that’s known to masquerade as the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India. The emails contain a malicious URL, supposedly a link to YouTube, when in fact, it takes users to a fake “Adobe Flash Player Update” landing page where they are prompted to install a Firefox extension that Proofpoint calls “FriarFox.”. Once installed, the extension, besides having access to browser tabs and user data for all websites, comes equipped with features to search, read, and delete messages and even forward and send emails from the compromised Gmail account. 



Date: December, 2020 

“China tech firms hiring more officials for legal defense amidst regulatory crackdown.” 

Big technology firms in China are stepping up hiring of legal and compliance experts. The firms are setting aside funds for potential fines due to an unprecedented anti-trust and data privacy crackdown by regulators. 

The regulatory scrutiny is in the light of a string of high-profile deals in the sector triggered concerns about competition and consumer data. 

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has imposed fines on some completed deals for failure to apply for anti-trust clearance. Authorities are also seeking stricter customer data collection and protection rules. 

The fine came a day after SAMR released new anti-monopoly guidelines targeting internet platforms. According to reports, Companies including Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan, Baidu and Byte Dance are hunting for dozens of legal and compliance professionals. Alibaba is currently looking to hire 69 legal and compliance professionals. About half a dozen these professionals, reportedly are for competition, regulation compliance and data privacy. 



Date: 25-02-2021  

“RBI Will Issue Guidelines and Policy Paper on Digital Currency Soon.” 

On the 185th foundation day of the Bombay chamber of commerce, the RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announced that RBI will soon launch “Digital Rupee”. The RBI soon launched a policy paper detailing the Central bank digital currency (CBDC). CBDC is the Crypto-currencies launched by the central government of each country. It holds the same value as fiat currencies have. The government said they can ban private cryptocurrency but give the recognition of CBDC. They said there are many country’s works launched to CBDC for the upcoming year. The Bahamas is the only country in the world to issue CBDCs currency. 




“Fino Payments Bank upgraded to scheduled Commercial Bank Status” 

Fino Payments Bank has been a designated as a bank in the Second Schedule to the RBI Act, 1934. The payments bank now has a scheduled commercial which will give it the powers to expand its treasury operations and access to liquidity windows.  

Fino is one of the successful payment banks in the country, while other payment banks continue to report losses, Fino showed net profit of around Rs. 1.9 Crore in June – September 2020. The bank says this will help them to grab some government business services, related to pensions, Provident Pensions and various welfare schemes under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). 



Date: 25.02.2021 

“Former top Paytm executive is building his own financial services startup” 

Pravin Jadhav, the former chief executive of Paytm Money, is all set to start his own startup, Raise Financial Services. This startup is aimed at customers living in tier 1 & 2 metro cities. This will offer products across financial services including investing, financing, insurance, wealth & payments. 



Date 24.02.2021 

“Flipkart to deploy 25,000 electric vehicles by 2030.” 

To fast-track the adoption EVs for its logistics fleet, Flipkart has announced to deploy 25,000 electric vehicles by 2030. Last year, the company announced its intention to transit its entire fleet EVs while joining the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative.  
Currently the company is handling 450 two and three-wheeler EVs across multiple cities. The company also plans to install around 1400 charging stations at its supply chain facilities and other places to encourage executive to drive EVs. 



Date: 24.02.2021 

“Amazon Partners with ICICI Bank and Axis Bank to rival NPCI” 

Amazon is finalizing contract with ICICI bank and Axis bank and several others to create a National Payments network that will act as NPCI’s direct rival, which currently have dominance in retail payments in India. The consortium will apply for a New Umbrella Entity license from RBI to set up an alternative real time payment system to the NPCI’s UPI system. Some unnamed sources have also pointed out that Visa India, NSE, BillDesk will also be part of the consortium led by ICICI & Axis Bank. The main beneficiaries of this payment system will be small & medium enterprises, merchants and consumers. With government removing the merchant discount rate on UPI transactions last year, private entities want to set up this alternative payment entity which can make them more profit as compared to the existing model which is under the NPCI. 



Date: 24.02.2021 

“No WhatsApp access for not accepting new privacy policy” 

WhatsApp to announce its new privacy policy. WhatsApp has now said that users must understand and accept the privacy policy by May 15 else they will lose access to their account. The policy is showing as in-app alert for some users and others will receive it via a software update. 



Date 23.02.2021 

“ASCI releases guidelines for social media influencers” 

India’s advertising governing body; Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has released draft guidelines for digital media influencers. The guidelines indicate the importance of social-media influencers in purchasing decision of consumers. The guideline addresses various kinds of digital media content and how disclosure should be made to a viewer regarding an advertisement or a sponsored content.  



Date 23.02.2021 

“Facebook to restore news content in Australia, Government agrees to amend the Code.” 

Facebook has settled to restore the news content on its platform after Government agrees to amend the ‘Media Bargaining Code’. Last week the social media platform banned news content in Australia over the provisions of code which provides news media publishers to get payments by the tech giants over the news and information shared on their platforms.  The agreed amendment includes a two-month mediation period that provides news publishers and Facebook with more time to negotiate a deal.  



Date: 23.02.2021 

“SBI Joins JP Morgan Blockchain Platform” 

The State Bank of India (SBI) has joined JP Morgan’s Blockchain network called Liinkto improve and reduce the cost of cross border transactions for its customers.  This platform will allow banks, financial institutions and corporates to transfer and settle data on a peer-2-peer basis, and can exchange information securely across widespread network of banks and institutions with ease and speed. At present it has 380 banks on board including, ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Federal Bank, Union bank of India and Yes bank. 



Date: 23.02.2021 

“National Blockchain Strategy is at odds with Data Localization and Privacy” 

Recently Government published a draft on National Strategy for Blockchain. Law and Policy firm, Ikigai Law says it is at odds with Data Localization and Privacy. 

Comments of Ikigai says MEITY’s draft lays down centralized model for blockchain, rather it is meant to be decentralize computer networks. Government should re-visit its stance on data localization and should consider an exemption from this because such requirements may have unintended consequences on the Indian Economy because restrictions on cross-border flows of data will deprive Indian economy of the significant contribution of data-led economic growth. 

According to Draft, Government wants to shift various personal information on Blockchain platform over time and this raises a lot of privacy concerns. Ikigai said Government should view Blockchain as a tool to enhance privacy w.r.t. control mechanisms, security and verification. 



Date: 23.02.2021 

“Shadow attacks replace contents in digitally signed PDFs” 

PDF security has come under the Shadow Attack. The researchers in the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS), have demonstrated methods to extract contents of a password-protected PDF file by taking advantage of partial encryption supported natively by the PDF specification to remotely exfiltrate content once a user opens that document. 16 of the 29 PDF viewers tested — including Adobe Acrobat, Foxit Reader, Perfect PDF, and Okular — found vulnerable to shadow attacks. 



Date:  20. 02. 2021 

“Brave Browser Bug exposes its user’s dark web browsing history data” 

Brave has fixed a privacy issue in its browser that sent queries for, onion domains to public internet DNS resolvers rather than routing them through tor nodes, thus exposing users’ visits to dark web websites. Brave ships with a built-in feature called “Private Window with Tor” that integrates the Tor anonymity 



Date: 18-02-2021  

“DNA Tech Regulation Bill needs safeguards to allay privacy, misuse concerns: India Police Foundation” 

Indian Police Foundation, A Delhi-based multidisciplinary think tank suggests to the parliamentary committee to make reasonable rules for the prevention to misuse DNA and allay privacy concerns. They said that DNA information can reveal family ancestry, skin color, behavior, health status, and susceptibility to diseases. There is a need for lawful and effective use of DNA technology so that we can use proper expert evidence in court to ensure their evidentiary value. Recently the Jairam Ramesh committee submitted their report on the DNA technology Regulation bill. 



Date: 18. 02. 2021 

“Facebook bans news in Australia- Anger Mounts amongst users” 

Facebook blocked Australians from accessing news feeds after an escalation of the proposed media bargaining code which would require the company and Google to reach commercial deals with news outlets whose links drive traffic to their platforms. But several charities and pages of official health, meteorology and emergency services were also blocked, along with smaller, niche content providers. 



Date 17.02.2021 

“Google and Facebook diverge path over paying news media players.” 

After the data sharing threats and to pull off services, the tech giants have diverged paths over the Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code. The Code provides news media publishers to get payments by the tech giants over the news and information shared on their platforms. The Code was introduced to reduce the disparity amongst various publishers with the advent of social media. 

Both the tech giants first threatened to exit the operations from Australia and were against the Code. Google has diverged from this standpoint and entered into deal with news publishers to offer “significant payments” for featuring them in its news showcase. Facebook has remained adamant on its point and have banned all news sharing on its platform in Australia.  



Date 17.02.2021 

“Opera to roll out fintech banking services” 

The internet browse company, Opera has entered the fintech market with the launch of Dify. ‘Dify’ is an in-browser cashback service and digital wallet for online shopping. Currently, the app allows users to get ecommerce cashbacks for purchases made on partner websites through the Opera browser.  

The service has been first introduced in Spain and ships with a current account, a free virtual debit card by Mastercard, and Google Pay support for offline spending. The company intends to provide services in EU in future.  



Date 17.02.2021 

“Mastercard partners with Razorpay to make digital payments accessible.” 

The two companies have partnered to onboard the small businesses and startups in India towards digital payments. The partnership aims to make digital payments accessible with Razorpay’s payment processing capabilities and Mastercard’s trusted and secure digital banking solutions and card services.  



Date: 16.02.2021 

“IAMAI Questions Governments’ Pre-Emptive Ban on ‘Private’ Cryptos” 

Ever since the Government announced The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, there is a lot of panic among the organizations and individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies. 

IAMAI has recently questioned government’s this decision and is of the view that regulated digital currency would act as fiat currency while the blockchain and crypto firms can help in innovation and wealth creation in the country. As part of proposed legislation, the government is planning to give existing investors a window of three to six months to square their holdings.  

RBI backed digital currency would ensure that all the transactions and its circulation is recorded. The proposed bill is yet to receive cabinet approval. 



Date: 15.02.2021 

“Government sets up Digital Intelligence unit to Monitor Fraudulent Transactions” 

The Government is planning to set-up new nodal agency called Digital Intelligence Unit with an aim to safeguard digital transactions. 

Finance Ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit takes care of money laundering activities, DIU will be responsible for ensuring that telecom service providers comply with various safeguards to curb digital transactions fraud. The DIU will coordinate between Local Service Area Players, financial institutions and telecom service providers to investigate fraudulent activity which involves telecom resources. 



Date: 15.02.2021 

“Can Private Companies Delete Vehicle Registration and Driving License data?” 

The government has not allowed private companies to delete the driving license and vehicle registration databases that they had purchased from the Road Transport Ministry. This notice has come up after scrapping up the bulk-data sharing policy. 




“ISRO partners with MapMyIndia to develop location-based software services”

The partnership is towards developing location-based software services and AI-based solutions. This partnership will enable the users of MapMyIndia to see various map-based analytics and insights about weather, pollution, agricultural output, land, use changes, among other things.    



Date: 12.02.2021 

“Twitter is under an obligation to abide by India Laws, says Government”

In the tussle between the Twitter and the Government, the latter told that the Twitter must obey the Indian Law, irrespective of its rules. In a meeting chaired by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and the twitter, the government expressed displeasure over the way twitter reacted to the government’s order to remove the “Farmer Genocide” hashtag.  



Date: 12-02-2021  

“Sweden’s data watchdog slaps police for unlawful use of Clearview AI” 

The IMY, Sweden data protection authority has a fine imposed on local police for unlawful use of the Clearview AI. Clearview AI breached Canadian Criminal Data Act. Clearview AI app used by Canadian Police without prior authorization. The IMY said that police have not fulfilled their obligations as a data controller on a number of accounts in regard to the use of Clearview AI. Last month, Clearview AI already faces issues in Germany for misuse of their citizen biometric data. 



Date: 11.02.2021 

“IAMAI’s new toolkit presents better representation of external members in complaint panels”

 With the government preparing to introduce guidelines to regulate OTT platforms, the Internet and Mobile Association has released its “implementation toolkit”. The toolkit provides for procedures and various provisions of the Code. It is introduced to aid signatories in fulfilling their commitments and responsibilities as provided in the Code. The toolkit also provides for equal number of internal and external members on the advisory panel.   




“SEBI to upgrade IT infrastructure to host private cloud”

In its 2019-2020 annual reports, SEBI has proposed upgrading its IT resources and to build new data-centers to host private cloud. Focusing on data analytics, upgrading IT resource will improvise the regulator’s supervision over securities market.  

The private cloud strategy will enable the regulator to utilize resources efficiently, provide flexibility across hardware devices and software, and to host and scale applications faster. To address the cyber security issue, the regulator has also set-up a Security Operations Centre to check on IT system 24*7. 



Date: 10.02.2021 

“Government officials migrating to Koo amidst tensions with Twitter”

Twitter India and the Government seem to be at daggers drawn over Twitter’s non-compliance with the government’s order to block 1100 accounts. Twitter also published its reasons for the non-compliance, stating the order does not follow Indian law and is against free speech. Amidst such tensions, the Government officials are shifting to a home-grown social media platform: Koo. Following this transition, #BanTwitter was the top trend on Twitter.  



Date: 10.02.2021 

“MeitY holds meeting with Twitter executives, expresses strong displeasure over delay in emergency order issued” 

Twitter held a virtual meeting with the Secretary of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MeitY”). This meeting was conducted regarding the alleged spread of misinformation via a few Twitter accounts.  

The Secretary expressed “strong displeasure” on the way Twitter had responded after “an emergency order was issued to remove this hashtag and content related to that.” This is regarding a hashtag referring to “farmer genocide” that was trending on Twitter recently. 

Twitter responded that they took steps to reduce the visibility of the hashtags. They prohibited them from trending and appearing as recommended search terms. Further they took a range of enforcement actions against more than 500 accounts 

The MeitY Secretary expressed his deep disappointment over Twitter’s leadership. Twitter unwillingly, grudgingly and with great delay complied with the substantial parts of the order. 

He stated that Twitter officially allows fake, unverified, anonymous and automated bot accounts to be operated on its platform. The government conveyed to the Twitter leadership that this raises doubts about its commitment to transparency and healthy conversation on their platform. 



Date: 10-02-2021 

“RTI reply: National Migrant Information System does not have data retention policy” 

In a reply to an RTI, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) clarify that they don’t have any data regarding the data retention policy of migrant workers. They said that the Aadhaar data stored on the portal will not share with a third party. During the COVID-19 pandemic period, NDMA made the National Migrant Information System (NIMS) for the help to the smooth movement of standard persons across States for safe movement to their hometown. In the reply of RTI, NDMA said that Aadhaar is not compulsory for the registration on the portal and there is not any interference of legislative or executive. They also said that states don’t need to upload information on the portal.  



Date: 10-02-2021 

“RTI reply: National Migrant Information System does not have data retention policy” 

In a reply to an RTI, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) clarify that they don’t have any data regarding the data retention policy of migrant workers. They said that the Aadhaar data stored on the portal will not share with a third party. During the COVID-19 pandemic period, NDMA made the National Migrant Information System (NIMS) for the help to the smooth movement of standard persons across States for safe movement to their hometown. In the reply of RTI, NDMA said that Aadhaar is not compulsory for the registration on the portal and there is not any interference of legislative or executive. They also said that states don’t need to upload information on the portal.  



Date: 10.02.2021 

“10 held for alleged $100 million cryptocurrency theft from celebs” 

European Police Europol assisted in the arrest of 10 hackers who are suspected of stealing $100 million in cryptocurrency in “SIM-Swapping” attacks that granted them access to their victims’ phones. 

In a SIM-Swapping attack, criminals can gain control over a SIM, the small computer chip that carries a phone number used to identify a customer on telecommunication network. Usually, a phone company is tricked into deactivating a working SIM and transferring its functions to hackers. They also hijacked social media accounts to post and send messages impersonating as the victim. 




“Some Car dealers are already selling cars through Bitcoin ahead of Elon Musk” 

Elon Musk recently invested $1.5 Billion in Bitcoin, which skyrocketed ATH of $45,000. He further said that in the coming time, one can buy Tesla’s electric car via bitcoin.  

However, there are certain car dealers which are already in this business, like KIA Motors car dealership in Georgia. Owner Christopher Basha said he accepted bitcoin payments beginning 2015 but no one was interested at the time. When prices of Bitcoin increased in 2017, a customer purchased 4 cars for a total of $1,50,000. According to dealers, accepting cryptocurrencies is a good branding tool, but it is still a niche business. Price volatility and the absence of trusted banks and other financial intermediaries make bitcoin payments slightly risky. 




“Technical Glitch in NPCI automated payment systems costs around 500,000- 700,000 transactions” 

Last month National Automated Clearing House (NACH) upgraded their systems but because of technical glitch many investors missed on a major bull run. 

On January 31st, 2021 the NPCI was upgrading the NACH system, which coincided with SEBIs new rule. This rule mandated mutual funds should receive investors’ fund and only then allot units to them for orders up to Rs. 2 Lakh. Due to the simultaneous NCPI upgrade and SEBI’s new rule, lakhs of mutual fund transactions failed to go through, which led to reconciliation issues for payment gateways. 

Now many investors are asking the fund houses for compensation. 



Date: 10.02.2021 

“Mastercard to open up network to select cryptocurrencies” 

Credit Card giant Mastercard is planning to offer support for some cryptocurrencies. It already offers customer cards allowing people to transact using their cryptocurrencies without going through Mastercard’s network. 

Mastercard specified not all cryptocurrencies will be supported on its network because many cryptocurrencies are still struggling to win the trust of mainstream investors due to their speculative nature and potential for money laundering.  




“Twitter will explore letting users receive payments from followers” 

Twitter Inc. is exploring a feature which will allow its users to receive tips or digital payments from their followers. 

According to CEO Jack Dorsey, this feature would help the social media platform to earn more money. It will also increase engagement from Twitter’s base of around 192 million daily users. With the introduction of user tipping and new features like content subscription, the company might be able to diversify its revenue. 



Date: 10. 02. 2021 

“Cyberespionage against UAE and Kuwait”  

According to a new investigation, Iran has possibly targeted a new cyberespionage campaign against UAE and Kuwait federal government companies. 

The goal of this activity is to set up a distant administration instrument identified as Screen Connect (obtained by ConnectWise 2015) with exclusive launch parameters that have custom homes,” with malware samples and URLs masquerading as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Kuwait and the UAE National Council. 



Date: 09.02.2021 

“YouTube censors farmer-protest-related videos on its platforms based on a MEITY guideline”

The Ministry of IT sent a guideline to YouTube asking it to takedown some content related to farmers’ protests. YouTube obliged and took it down leading to censorship of a lot of videos – as opposed to Twitter, which refused to comply with the request claiming free speech. 



Date: 09.02.2021 

“Kerala HC proposes ban on any sort of ‘online gambling’ till the State Government introduces regulatory framework”

Kerala High Court heard a petition contending the harms caused by gambling e-sports like Mobile Premier League, Rummy Online, etc. The petition contended that the present laws are inefficient to regulate online gambling platforms. Because of the COVID-19, more people are on-boarding such platforms and this requires ‘serious attention’ of the government. The petition further stated that such games are not game of skill but of chance and celebrities endorsing such platforms influences larger number people to engage and play. There have also been cases of fraud and financial losses incurred by the players of such platforms. 



Date: 09.02.2021 

“Minister of Information and Broadcasting said guidelines to regulate OTT are almost ready” 

Replying to a zero hour mention, MIB said that the guidelines to regulation Over the Top (OTT) platforms are almost ready. The response stated that there are at least 40 OTT platforms and hundreds of news contents websites in India. Last year OTT platforms came up with a self-regulatory framework which the MIB has refused to support. 



Date: 09.02.2021 

“NPCI will launch hackathon challenge to find alternative UPI authentication modes” 

NPCI is planning to launch ‘NPCI PayAuth Challenge’, a global hackathon to get alternatives for the authentication of UPI transactions. 

This hackathon is supported by APIX, the world’s first cross-border open architecture API marketplace and sandbox platform. Fintechs, solution providers and developers can submit their solutions, which should be unique, to simplify authorization and integrate the UPI technology. There is a prize money of $20,000, the runner up will receive $10,000 while the other winning teams will get the opportunity to work on Proof of Concept with NPCI.  



Date: 09.02.2021 

“Facebook’s Oversight Board picks up Indian post for content moderation.” 

The Oversight Board, an independent body of Facebook set up in 2020 took up a new case related to a user’s post in India. The post contained certain allegations against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and PM Narandra Modi. 

The post was initially taken down for violating community guidelines, but it was restored later. It was shared in November, 2019 which included a 17-minute video. The caption to the post contained negative remarks against the RSS, BJP and PM Narendra Modi. 

It was viewed less than 500 times and was taken down after a single report, as being against the Facebook’s Community Standard on Dangerous Individuals and Organizations. However, the post was restored for being an enforcement error. 

The users have questioned Facebook restricting the ability of users’ posts. They have suggested that the platform to restrict the user accounts when it is found to engage in threating, misleading or criminal activities. The Oversight board is to review this matter. It has also invited suggestions and comments from the public on such posts.  The Oversight Board is to act as a transparent body, aimed at deciding content moderation of posts within 90 days. 



Date: 08.02.2021

“NIXI announces online procedure for IP address allocation in India”

The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) announced that it will automate the process for registration and allocation of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. The online procedure for accepting registrations will settle the hassle and requirement of physical forms for IP address allocation. 

NIXI is tasked with the allocation and registration of IP Addresses and other numbering resources required for a presence on the Internet. It also runs Internet Exchange Points to let Internet service Providers (ISPs) and content providers to exchange data with each other. 



Date: 08.02.2021  

 “CoWIN dashboard added to Aarogya Setu app”

Covid-19 vaccination certificates will be generated on the CoWIN and Aarogya setu app. Only those people are able to download their vaccination certificates who download these apps. Abhishek Singh, CEO of My gov, said that people can also use CoWIN and Aarogys Setu to register for the vaccination. These apps are based on Aadhaar–based system to authenticate beneficiaries. But the government has said that Aadhaar is not mandatory for vaccination. According to the information provided by the government, the CoWIN app has a system to auto-generate vaccination certificates. Each dose of vaccine has a QR- code and a corresponding digital certificate is generated through that code. However, CoWIN app is not open for the public until the vaccination of the frontline worker is completed. 



Date: 08.02.2021  

“MEITY Instructs Twitter to Block Over 1,000 Accounts Related to Farmers Protest”

The Ministry of electronics and information Technology issued an order a 2nd time, to Twitter India, to block the accounts of more than 1100 farmers. Last week, Twitter blocked more than 250 accounts, but after some time the accounts were restored. Twitter said that they constituted free speech, while the government did not budge from its position and send a notice to Twitter. According to the government, these accounts were spreading misinformation and threatening the public order. They said for the maintenance of public order, Twitter should block these accounts. According to section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the Government has the right to block access to information generated, transmitted, received, stored, or hosted in any computer resource to prevent incitement to the commission of any cognizable offense relating to public order. 




“Clubhouse users could face arrest under Chinese law”

Since most of the social media are censored and foreign social media banned, Chinese netizens, Taiwanese nationals, Hongkongers, Uyghurs, Tibetans, and journalists have now been flocking to the social media app called Clubhouse to engage in open political discussions.  

The Clubhouse app seems to be a special exception. But Taiwan News reports the app is built on Agora, a Chinese company founded by Tony Wang and Tony Zhao and based in Shanghai. According to the report, some netizens unearthed the firm’s S-1 filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in June of last year. It stated that Chinese laws may require it to “provide assistance in government investigations on national security grounds or in criminal cases,” 



Date: 08.02.2021 

“Hacker tried poisoning water supply after breaking into Florida’s treatment system.” 

Hackers tried to infiltrate into the computer system controlling water treatment system in Florida, USA. They tried to remotely change the setting that drastically altered the levels of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in the water. High levels of NaOH can alter the acidity levels of water and cause irritation in skin and eyes. 



Date: 06.02.2021

“India restores 4G mobile in Jammu & Kashmir after 550 days”

The government has issued an order to restore Internet services in Kashmir after an 18-month ban. The government had banned the internet in August 2019 after the amendment of article 370. After the ban, many human rights activists raised questions against the internet ban. According to them, it was a violation of fundamental rights, and they called it “digital apartheid” and “collective punishment”. The government stated that the ban was imposed for the betterment and integration of the region with India, greater economic development, and to stop threats from the anti-national element. 



Date: 06.02-.021  

 “No blanket permission given for surveillance under NETRA, NATGRID”

The central government filed a reply to the Delhi High Court on a PIL claiming violation of the citizens’ right to privacy. The PIL asserted that surveillance programs like Centralized Monitoring System (CMS), Network Traffic Analysis (NETRA), and National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) breach people’s fundamental rights. The central government stated in the court that no blanket permission was granted to any agency for interception, monitoring, or decryption of any message or information under these programs. The government said that the country can’t ignore the grave threats arising from terrorism, radicalization, cybercrime, drug cartels, etc. To prevent all these activities, there is a need for speedy collection of actionable intelligence. All the information is lawfully intercepted, monitored, or decrypted by only those agencies, which have legal and statutory power as well as approval of each case as per provision of the Indian Telegraph Act and the Information Technology Act. 



Date: 06.02.2021

“The Great Suspender Chrome Extension removed from web store for containing malware”

Google removed its popular Chrome extension “The Great Suspender”. This extension has been downloaded by millions of users. The malware runs an arbitrary code from a remote server which tracks users online and also causes advertising fraud.



Date: 06.02.2021

“Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea against new WhatsApp privacy policy” 

The Supreme Court refuses to hear the plea which had sought a direction to WhatsApp to roll back its new privacy policy. The Court stated this issue was already being heard by the Delhi High Court and the petitioner can choose the suitable remedy. 

The plea was filed by the Confederation of All India Traders. It alleged the new privacy policy violates laws, impacts the citizens’ fundamental right to privacy, is fundamentally opposed to their representation, and can impact the country’s security. Moreover, they also sought a direction to the Centre to intervene in the matter and frame guidelines to govern large technology-based companies.  



Date: 05.02.2021

“Plea against the E-Watch App in Andhra Pradesh High Court”

Advocate Sudhakar challenges the e- watch app in Andhra Pradesh high court for the concerns over the app safety feature. This app is recently launched by election commissioner Ramesh Kumar for accountability in the election. During arguments in court, Adv. Sudhakar stated a private individual developed this app. They were not authorized by regulatory bodies. User data goes into the hands of a private individual. Moreover, there is no clarity on the side of the app developer about the data collected by the app, which is directly affecting security protocols. 



Date: 05.02.2021

“Clearview AI’s facial recognition service banned in Canada”

Canadian government banned the AI facial recognition service company Clearview for collecting highly sensitive biometric information without the knowledge or consent of individuals. The privacy commissioners said that the company violated privacy rights of Canadians in pursuit of business interest. They said that the company collected, used, and also disclosed all the personal information of Canadian people, which is a violation of the privacy right of Canadians. On the other hand, the company claims that they did not violate privacy law. All the sources are available on public platforms like Facebook Instagram, so there is no need for concern from the government or those particular individuals. 




“Crypto exchange Gemini launched interest bearing crypto account” 

Gemini is expanding more into traditional retail banking territory with the launch of crypto account. The company launched this across all 50 states of US. 

CEO of Gemini Tyler Winklevoss said they have designed a program that can give the customers ability to generate a real return on their crypto holdings. Last month the Company acquired Blockrize ahead of the launch of a credit card that allows users to earn 3% in crypto-cashback on all purchases.  

Both these developments of Gemini align with their strategy of mainstreaming the use of cryptocurrency through traditional financial products such as interest earning platforms and credit cards.


Date: 04.02.2021

“MEITY recommends creation of a National Blockchain Framework”

Ministry of Information and Technology has recommended formulating a National Blockchain Framework to build an indigenous blockchain platform. This platform will host multiple blockchain platforms.  Various domain specific blockchains, for property, health, education, etc. Hosted on this platform can be uniformly regulated through this framework. 

This framework will be formulated in collaboration with state governments, National E-Governance Division, National Informatics Centre, MEITY, IDBRT, startups and other bodies.  



Date: 03.02.2021

“Indian Trade Secretary supports Digital Taxation”

India defended the Equalization Levy 2.0, a digital tax which was introduced last year.  

The introduced taxation framework extends to platforms providing digital services without having permanent establishments in India. This framework has been criticized by the US tech firms including Google’s Alphabet and Facebook.   

It was decided in the recent budget session that royalty and fees for technical services will be excluded from this framework.  




“WhatsApp Pay roll-out delayed due to Data Localization rules” 

WhatsApp Pay is ready to roll out its UPI service since November 2019 but is in cross heirs with RBI over Data localization norms. 

The RBI & NPCI were constantly monitoring WhatsApp’s compliance with the regular data storage norms for its payment business since April 2018. WhatsApp Pay is supported by ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, The State Bank of India and Jio Payments Bank.


Date: 03.02.2021

“30 lakhs lost in custom clearance fraud by online friends”

Content: Sarfaraz Nawaz Saifi from Noida, Uttar Pradesh lost almost 30 lakh rupees, in an online fraud, which was conducted by his online friend, an American woman and her other two gang members. The fraud was conducted on the pretext of customs clearance for a parcel. 



Date: 03.02.2021

“93,000 cybercrimes related to personal revenge, hate reported in 3 years” 

National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data presented in the Rajya Sabha shows over 93,000 cases of cybercrime related to personal revenge, hate report and fraud were registered throughout the country between 2017 and 2019. The number of cybercrime cases doubled from 21,796 in 2017 and 27,248 in 2018 to 44,546 in 2019. A senior NCRB official said cybercrime abruptly increased because of the easy affordability of smartphones, increased social media usage, and increased dependence on online services. The decrement in tariff mobile data over the past 10 years also played a major role in the increase of Cybercrimes.  



Date: 02.02.2021

“2.5 million Bharti Airtel user’s data on sale”

A group of hackers have put data of 2.5 million Bharti Airtel users on sale. The telecom operator any data breach. The hackers allegedly tried sell the data to a telecom company. The compromised data includes Aadhaar number, address and date of birth. 



Date: 01.02.2021

“CBSE says its facial recognition tool is face-matching algorithm

CBSE implemented facial recognition technology to permit download of academic documents for the 10th and 12th grades. This tool uses admit cards photographs. In response to an RTI filed by Delhi-based digital rights group Internet Freedom Foundation, CBSE said the facial recognition tool is based on a “simple face matching process.” However, this claim was disproved in a subsequent response to the same RTI, where CBSE admitted to using a “face-matching algorithm”. The problem is that this facial recognition system does not have a privacy policy despite personally identifying student data being captured and processed. CBSE also has not sought additional parental consent when collecting data of minors (students). Although CBSE has denied the role of any private company, it remains unclear if they were involved in the development of the tool or its features. 



Date: 01.02.2021

“Use data from National Digital Health Mission to help healthcare sector”

The Economic Survey 2020-21 suggested that the Indian healthcare sector should use the data of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) to provide better services to patients. It will keep people informed as most patients don’t know that what services they are availing. It will also help the healthcare sector provide better care to their patients. The survey suggests using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms for the betterment of patients. The survey findings emphasized the point that maximum patients are not aware of the medicines they use. The data will also help to provide quality medicine in major chronic diseases. 




“Visa Prepares for Crypto future” 

There is a lot going on future of cryptocurrencies and in light of this Visa company is preparing for crypto future. 

In the upcoming time Visa is planning to work with both traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether as well as fait backed digital currencies including stable coins and central banks’ digital currencies. In the first segment, Visa is planning to work with wallets and exchanges which will enable users to purchase these currencies using their visa credentials. User also have a choice to cash out onto a visa credential to make a fiat purchase. As of now, Visa has already finalized the deals with around 35 organizations in crypto markets like BitPanda and BlockFi. 


February, 2021



 “Government might ban private cryptocurrencies and develop national digital coin” 

The Union Government plans to introduce a bill in the parliament that would ban private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.  

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill establishes a framework for the creation of an official digital currency. This will be issued by the RBI. This bill creates certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses. This is not the first time Indian lawmakers have taken such a stand on cryptocurrency. In 2018, a Government panel recommended banning of all private cryptocurrencies and prescribed 10 years of jail time for offenders. 



Date: 29.01.2021 

“DDoS Attacks increased rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic” 

A Threat Intelligence Report by A10 Networks has found exponential growth in DDoS attacks from botnets located in India.  India hosted about a third (32%) of botnet agents, followed by Egypt hosting almost a quarter (24%) of hijacked devices. A leading Indian broadband provider was the single largest contributor of DDoS activity. The broadband provider was associated with up to 200,000 unique sources of “Mirai-like” activity at the height of the campaign.  

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks has significantly increased during the Pandemic. The report says that the 5G network rollout, use of new exploits and malware by attackers made it very easy for the IoT devices to be compromised and ultimately leading to an increase in the number of attacks. The report delineated that Simple Services Discovery Protocol (SSDP) became the most preferred DDoS weapon used in 2,581,384 attacks, while SNMP (1,773,694) took the second position.  



Date: 21.10.2020 

“Nambiar Committee reports privacy flaws in contract with Sprinklr” 

The Nambiar Committee reported inconsistencies in Sprinklr’s data security practices. The analytics platform contracted with the IT department of Kerala state government to store and analyze the medical data of COVID affected people. Details of over 1.82 lakh people monitored for COVID spread in the state were shared with this private American company. 

The report states that no prior permissions from authorities were obtained for the deal. The record of meetings was not submitted, data sent to the company was not filtered, and no validation of data security procedures was undertaken. No evidence of anonymization of citizen’s data was found. No consultation with the health department was conducted prior to the contract with Sprinklr. The law secretary was also not consulted to discuss the privacy breaches or security of data. 



Date: 29.01.2021 

“Advertisement Standards Council to set up task force to monitor ads on OTT platforms.”

The Advertisement Standards Council has decided to set up a task force to regulate and monitor advertisements on OTT platforms. One reason for this decision relates to the advertisements of real money betting apps. 

These guidelines are being formulated in consultation with the Ministry of Information and Broadcast. 



Date: 28.01.2021 

“ED initiates probe against Amazon for foreign exchange violations.”

The Enforcement directorate has started a detailed investigation against the e-commerce firm, Amazon for alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (“FEMA”). 

In December, 2020 the Delhi High Court noted Amazon exerting control over Future Retail Company known for its chain stores, Big Bazaar. This control was exercised without prior approval from the government, thereby violating the FEMA provisions. The Court found that Amazon’s agreements with Future Retail’s unlisted company, violate the Foreign Direct Investment rules under FEMA. 

Through these agreements, Amazon exercises controlling rights over Future Retail in contrast to a set of protective rights. 

The Delhi High Court noted and objected to these agreements by Amazon during a case involving Reliance acquiring the Future Retail company chain. 



Date: 28.01.2021

“Google updates its Play Store policies regarding gamified loyalty programs”

Google has updated its privacy policies to clarify the position of gamified loyalty programs. This comes after the last year Paytm-Google dispute during which Google removed Paytm from the Play Store. The guidelines now specify guidance on loyalty programs based on qualified monetary transaction in an app which offers prizes of cash or other real-world cash equivalent perks. The new guidelines have worldwide application. The new guidelines do not permit real gambling apps in India yet.  



Date: 27.01.2021

“RBI looking for option to issue digital rupee”

RBI, in a booklet pertaining to Payment Systems in India from 2010 – 2020 has stated its interest to introduce a digital currency for India. This is a new development after the regulator’s skepticism about central based digital currency (CBDC) and cryptocurrency. This interest suggests that RBI does not want lose the race with leading banks of the world introducing digital currency. CBDC are digital currencies which holds the same value as a fiat currency and are backed by the central bank. 



Date: 27.01.2021 

“Chinese apps look for legal recourse against India ban”

The apps banned permanently from a total of 59 Chinese apps are weighing for legal recourse to challenge the legitimacy of the ban. These apps are banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

These apps are contending the process adopted by the government to ban them. As per them, the government did not allow them a hearing in-person.  



Date:  26.01.2021 

“Tata Sky and Croma exposed contact information and address of customers

Tata conglomerate’s retail chain Croma and DTH television service Tata Sky have exposed millions of customers’ contact information and address. Tata sky has exposed sensitive information about their customers like their name, phone number, address, service request, payment history, etc. According to cybersecurity expert Rahil Bhansali and, at least 22 million people are affected. Croma, an electronic gadget selling company also revealed the name, address, and phone number of their customers.  



Date: 25.01.2021 

“Karnataka High Court Restrains Centre & NIC From Sharing Response Data Of Persons Collected Through ‘Aarogya Setu”

The Karnataka High Court passed an interim order to restrain the Central Government and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) from sharing the response data given by an individual in the ‘Aarogya Setu’ app with other government departments and agencies, without obtaining informed consent of the users. 



Date: 25.01.2021 

“500 million Facebook users’ data for sale through on Telegram” 

According to a report in Motherboard, A database of phone numbers of around 500 million Facebook users is up for sale on Telegram. Although the data is several years old it encompasses information of users from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and 15 other countries. The database relates to a vulnerability the company fixed in August 2019. The bot has been running since at least January 12, 2021. Facebook or Telegram was yet to officially comment on the report.

Source :


Date: 22.01.2021 

‘Razor pay, Paytm asked to discontinue transactions for Chinese Instant Loan Apps’ 

To curb the rising trend of high interest digital lending without requiring any documents from the user, Enforcement Directorate and Criminal Investigation Departments of various states have asked Razor pay and Paytm to block transactions for Chinese Instant Loan Apps in India.  This comes after it was reported that such apps employ collection agents which harasses the defaulters to recover payments. As per a report, 95% of such money lending apps uses payment gateway of Razor pay for their transactions.    



Date: 22.01.2021 

‘MeitY reports lack of information pertaining to CoWin App’

In response to a RTI application regarding details of the backbone of the vaccine rollout plan in India: The Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWin app), the government has replied that it has no information regarding the same.  The CoWin App is government’s is developed to address the challenges that the government may face during the vaccination drive. 



Date: 22.01.2021 

‘Government launches regulatory compliance burden portal for ease of doing business’  

To reduce regulatory compliance burden of citizens and business, the government has introduced the regulatory compliance burden portal. This compliance burden portal will provide action plans to rationalize and simply processes, ease the burdensome compliances, decriminalize and repeal redundant Acts. 



Date: 22. 01.2021  

“2018 Facebook data leak, CBI registers FIR against Cambridge Analytica”

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has lodged an FIR against Alexander Nix and Aleksandr Kogan – representatives of Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research Limited – for their involvement in the illegal harvesting of data through Facebook that took place in 2018. Kogan developed an app called ‘This is Your Digital Life’ that allowed Cambridge Analytica to collect the personal details of 80 million Facebook users around the world. This data included demographic information, page likes on Facebook, contents of private messages, etc, and was possibly used for profiling and influencing elections in India. 



Date: 21.01.2021 

‘Government deliberating to amend IT Act’

Government starts discussions on amending India’s Information Technology Act (More news is awaited!) 



Date: 21.01.2021 

‘Lucknow Police to deploy AI and Facial Recognition Technology-based Cameras to track women in distress’

Lucknow law enforcement is deploying facial recognition technology to identify women in distress based on their facial expressions and alert police officers – all with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Concerns of past misuse of facial recognition tech, AI and algorithmic biases are some problems that are very prevalent. This could also lead to policing of women and unnecessary surveillance that would curtail women’s basic civil liberties. 



Date: 21.01.2021 

“FinTechs are at higher risk of loan default”

In the latest DLAI- CIBIL report, the data shows that FinTech are at higher risk of defaulting loans due to the aggressive growth in personal loans. The report is published by TransUnion CIBIL and the Digital Lenders Association of India. The report studied the collection practices of 35 fintech lenders and found that on average FinTech have 8x more delinquent accounts compared to private banks. Although there was a higher risk i 



Date: 20.01.2021 

‘India is considering amending FDI in e-commerce rules’ 

In a move to prevent e-commerce marketplaces from having an indirect stake through their parents, India is considering to amend its FDI policy under e-commerce rules. This comes after physical retailer and associations demand for more regulations and government oversight over the operations of Amazon and Flipkart.  



Date: 20.01.2021 

‘Indian crypto industry prepares code of conduct’

 To provide a self-regulatory framework for regulatory void scenario in India, various stakeholders from cryptocurrency market have come together to formulate a code of conduct for the industry.  This code of conduct covers include KYC norms, anti-money laundering rules, audit norms, and cybersecurity standards among other aspects. This framework formulated to provide transparency and trust in the public towards the industry. 



Date: 20.01.2021 

“Supreme Court dismisses Aadhar Review Petition”

The Aadhar review challenged the 2018 verdict in the case of KS Puttaswamy v. Union of India which held that the Aadhar Act was constitutional. The Court, in a 4:1 decision dismissed the review petition, stating that a change in the “law or subsequent decision/judgment of a coordinate or larger Bench by itself cannot be regarded as a ground for review.” On the other hand, Justice Chandrachud, who had also dissented in the 2018 judgment holding that the Act was unconstitutional on various grounds, said that the review petitions must be kept pending until larger referential bench in Rojer Mathew – which deals with legislations being passed as money bills and its constitutionality.  



Date: 19.01.2021 

 ‘IT Ministry contacts WhatsApp’s CEO to withdraw the controversial changes to terms’  

 The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology wrote a letter Will Cathcart (WhatsApp’s CEO) to withdraw the recently updated terms.  

The recent controversial terms make the sharing of user’s data by Whatsapp to Facebook easier.  




‘Cabinet Committee announced National Security Directive for Telecom Sector’ 

 The cabinet committee on security has announced national security directive for telecom sector. This directive will provide the list of trusted sources and trusted products for installation by telecom service providers in the country.  The national cyber security coordinator is tasked to devise the methodology to designate trusted products based on the approval of a committee headed by Deputy National Security Advisor.  

A list of sources will also be created from whom procurement should not be made.  



Date: 18.01.2021 

‘Facebook and Twitter to depose to Parliamentary IT Committee on Jan 21’

The Standing Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology, headed by Shashi Tharoor has called the representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on January 21. 

The agenda of this scheduled meeting is to safeguard citizens’ rights, prevent misuse of social/online news media platforms, and ensure women’s security in digital space. 



Date: 17.01.2021

“Govt Prioritizing Self-Regulation of News and OTT Platforms”

To create a level playing field, the Indian government in planning to legislate a statute for regulating OTT platforms and news websites. This legislation is supposed to define a framework for the self-regulation of such platforms, and address the issues of sensitive content and fake news.   



Date: 17.01.2021

“Uncertified Whatsapp messages to have no evidentiary value: Punjab and Haryana High Court” 

In the case of Rakesh Kumar Singh v. UOI, the Punjab and Haryana HC ruled that only messages certified under Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act will bear an evidentiary value.  Under Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act electronic records are required to be certified by a person occupying a responsible position. Without this certification, the evidence cannot be admitted as an evidence in court proceeding.   



Date: 15.01.2021

“Indian government has made the second highest information requests according to Twitter’s new transparency report

India sent up to 21% of all requests and 25% of specific global account requests. India also made 18% of the preservation requests; preservation requests are those that are made in response to governments or other law enforcement agencies where Twitter temporarily preserves information of an account involved in an investigation.   India is one of the five countries (others being Japan, Russia, South Korea and Turkey) from where 96% of the legal demands come from. India also had the highest number of requests related to media and journalists having made 149 requests. Two tweets were withheld in India under Section 69A of the IT Act.  



Date: 15.01.2021

“Indian government has made the second highest information requests according to Twitter’s new transparency report”

India sent up to 21% of all requests and 25% of specific global account requests. India also made 18% of the preservation requests; preservation requests are those that are made in response to governments or other law enforcement agencies where Twitter temporarily preserves information of an account involved in an investigation.  India is one of the five countries (others being Japan, Russia, South Korea and Turkey) from where 96% of the legal demands come from. India also had the highest number of requests related to media and journalists having made 149 requests. Two tweets were withheld in India under Section 69A of the IT Act.  



Date: 15.01.2021

“Panel on Information Technology proposes reasonable curbs on OTT content”

On 13.01.2021, the parliamentary standing committee deliberated on the issue of protecting creative freedom and imposing reasonable restriction on content on Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms. In this regard, Central Board of Film Certification Chief, Prasoon Joshi stated the need for censure of content running against the Indian Laws. Joshi also advocated the Mudgal Committee report of 2013 which advocates the India to move from censorship to certification. He considered Shyam Benegal Committee report on censorship to be redundant because of the advances in technology and arrival of OTT platforms.  




“Amid privacy debates-Govt examining WhatsApp’s user policy changes”

The government is examining the recent privacy policy changes announced by WhatsApp. This is based on the controversy of linking data of WhatsApp users to the facebook’s other products and services. The IT- Ministry is discussing on the implications of the recent move by the WhatsApp platform as it has more than 400 million users in India. 



Date: 15.01.2021 

“WhatsApp to delay the new privacy policy”

WhatsApp in its blog post of its company website has announced that it will come up with its new privacy policy with a three months delay which was supposed to be released on February 8th 2021. WhatsApp also says that no one will be losing access to the app if they didn’t agree to the new terms of service agreement that communicated the changes earlier this month. 



Date: 15.01.2021

“Post COVID-19, 80% of Households use payment apps and 36% adopted Digital payments”

According to survey conducted by National Payment Corporation of India, at least 80% of the households use digital payment apps like Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe and over half of them use Unified Payment interface (UPI) for payment transactions. The survey conducted by the People Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE) and citizen Environment covered 5314 households across 25 different states and classified them according to their income levels. Although the overall volume of digital payments dipped during the lockdown; common households, merchants turned to digital payment apps and fintech for daily spending. The report establishes that in India, digital payment apps have gained significant traction across the country.  



Date: 15.01.2021

“Google Introduces new rules to tackle dubious loan applications”

Google has updated its terms of policies to curb the cases of harassment by digital lending platforms and short-term lending apps. As per the new policy, apps that offer secured and unsecured loans are required to disclose key information in the app description and while submitting the app to the Play Store. The key information to be submitted includes minimum and maximum period of repayment, the maximum annual percentage rate, and a representative example of the total loan cost. The apps which do not comply shall be removed from the Play Store. 




“WhatsApp privacy policy challenged in Delhi High Court”

 A petition has been filed before the Delhi High Court challenging the new privacy policy of WhatsApp, contending that it violates the right to privacy and poses a threat to national security.  The petitioner urged the court to issue an injunction order, restraining WhatsApp from enforcing the updated privacy policy. It also sought a direction upon the Central Government to exercise its powers under the IT Act and ensure that WhatsApp does not share any of its users’ data with any third party for any purpose whatsoever. Since India is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the petitioner alleged data sharing with third-parties would be incompatible with its stipulations on authorized and limited usage of data.  The petitioner also pointed out that the same policy is not applicable in the European Region, owing to the data protection law (GDPR) in place there. 



Date: 13.01.2021

“RBI says NPCI responsible for operating UPI services”

RBI stated that the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) is responsible for operating UPI (Unified Payments Interface) services. There is a huge concern about the misuse of data collected by the UPI platforms run by companies like Google, Amazon, and WhatsApp providing the UPI services. RBI stated that the retail payments organization is the sole entity responsible for ensuring companies comply with all rules and regulations. According to RBI, these payment apps are not system providers. Therefore, they do not fall under the regulatory domain of RBI directly. NPCI is the system provider of UPI and, therefore, comes under the regulatory radar of RBI.



Date: 13.01.2021

“FIU to clear stand on PayPal penalty case”

Delhi HC issued notice to the FIU and sought its stand on PayPal’s plea by February 26. A few days ago, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), India fined the online payments major PayPal with 96 Lakh for allegedly violating anti-money laundering law. PayPal was charged with failing to register itself as a “reporting entity” with FIU including other charges. The court, in this matter, issued a notice to FIU seeking its stand and stayed an earlier order, subject to PayPal maintaining records of all its transactions and depositing a guarantee of Rs 96 lakh within two weeks. RBI was made a party to the matter. The court has also directed the RBI and the Ministry of Finance to constitute a committee to take a policy decision on whether such an entity can be considered as a reporting agency and would be governed by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).




“RBI constitutes Working Group on Digital Lending”

In a press note RBI has constituted an internal working group. This committee is supposed to recommend regulations, policies for consumer protection and creating a fair practices code for Fintech and lending industries. Bank and Non-Bank lenders under RBI have been outsourcing their customer procurement to third party and online lending platforms. With the advancement of technology, Fintech also entered the lending space helping lenders cut down cost of Acquistion and lending. Due to lack of customer awareness, several instances of fake lending websites emerged. They ask for huge interest rates on small loan amounts and even steal customer’s personal information. Such websites remain un-regulated. Increase in online lending platforms have raised some serious concerns. RBI has told the Working Committee to submit its report in three months. 



Date: 13.01.2021

“Google seeks regulatory status of Lending apps, threatens removal from Play Store”

Google team has sent emails to various digital lending apps on play store w.r.t their regulatory status. If they don’t reply within the stipulated time, Google will remove them from Play Store. This is due to several cases of customer harassment by these lending apps, which charge exorbitant interest. If customers default, these apps harass them with texts or turn to social media to taunt the borrower amongst their friends and family. According to Google Play Store’s Developer Policy, personal loan apps require disclosure of key information such as minimum and maximum period of repayment, maximum annual percentage rate and a representative example of the total loan cost. Further it states “personal loan apps that require full repayment greater than or equal to 60 days is issued to operate on Play Store.” 



Date: 13.01.2021

“Kerala to bring in legislation regulating predatory loan applications”

The Kerala government plans to introduce regulatory framework for digital lending apps. This is because several instances of suicides across multiple cities have been reported and all the victims were tremendously indebted to these digital lending companies charging exorbitant interest rates on small loans. This decision came after motion was introduced by congress MLA, K Sabarinath to bring in the appropriate law to curb such practices. In June last year, RBI directed Banks and Non-Bank lenders who use third party websites and apps to provide better transparency in the loan documentation. While RBI is trying to make customers and banks more and more aware of such fraudulent practices, Union Government is yet to take formal acknowledgment of the same.



Date: 13.01.2021

“Petition claiming unsolicited emails sent by central government departments”

A petition was filed before the Delhi HC claiming that the petitioner is receiving unsolicited emails from central government departments and authorities, including from the Prime Minister Office (PMO).  These emails are part of the ‘e-sampark’ mechanism of the government under which various schemes and activity of the government is shared with the general public. In this regard, Justice Pratibha M Singh asked the petitioner to unsubscribe to the emails and ordered the central government to not send such unsolicited emails to the petitioner. 



Date: 12.01.2021

“Google Search Leads to Private WhatsApp Chats”

Links to private WhatsApp chats were made available through a simple Google Search. Security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia exposed this on Twitter. The links indexed in the search allowed access to WhatsApp groups immediately, without prior approval. It also allows access to phone numbers and profile photos. 



Date: 11.01.2021 

Intel Launches Facial Recognition Solution amid debate around the Tech Biases”

Chipmaker Intel recently launched a facial recognition solution to work with smart locks, access control, among others, called RealSense ID which is built on Company’s Depth sensing technology. Intel listed out all the possible use of Facial Recognition systems but did not specify if this technology would be given to Law enforcement authorities. It also clarified that “Company is working to ensure ethical application of RealSense and protection of Human Rights”. In the past for instance, Amazon’s facial recognition system misidentified 28 members of Congress as criminals. Research has also shown that facial recognition tools are worse at detecting and identify faces of darker skinned people creating room for blatant discrimination. India is also deploying such tools. CBSE recently rolled out facial recognition system without the privacy policy. Local police departments are also purchasing facial recognition algorithms.



Date:  07.01.2021 

CCPA issues show cause notices to companies for misleading information”

The Central Consumer Protection Authority has suo moto issued notices to companies for misleading and misguiding statements during the Covid-19 pandemic. The notice has also been issued to Cab Companies as well which resort to unfair trade practices w.r.t. refund of extra fare. Along with this recently CCPA took the matter of failed/cancelled transactions while using the banking services like IMPS, UPI, etc. where money has not been refunded to consumers or where the settlement timeline has not been adhered to RBI. CCPA has also asked the IRDAI to look into the matters of delay in getting the claim amount by the consumers.  



Date:  07.01.2021 

“WhatsApp will delete your account if you don’t agree to the updated Privacy Policy.”

WhatsApp has updated its terms of service and privacy policy and given users till 8th February, 2021 to accept it or their accounts will be deleted from the platform. New update mentions more information about WhatsApp service and how it processes user data. New policy provided extensive detail on how WhatsApp shares information with its parent company Facebook. WhatsApp made it clear that it is sharing information with Third party service providers and other Facebook companies in this capacity. It also mentions that if you don’t agree to the updated policies and your account is deleted it does not mean that all your information which you shared previously in various groups is also deleted, some of it might be stored for a longer time.  



Date: 06.01.2021 

“The CoWin app will use Aadhar for authentication and Tracking purposes.”

The CoWin app, short for COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network will use Aadhar based authentication system for the rollout of Covid 19 vaccines. This will also allow for the creation of Unique digital Heath ID for those being vaccinated. With the use of this app Vaccines will be tracked from when the manufacturer transports them to Primary vaccine stores, then to state vaccine stores and so on. In the initial rollout, vaccine will be available only to frontline workers and health workers, their data will be taken from a Bulk Database that has already been stored into the CoWin system.  CoWin system will also send SMS in 12 languages to guide beneficiaries. It’ll have a chatbot for general assistance as well. This app is not yet available on Play store nor on App store, it is still under development.  



Date: 06.01.2020 

Swatting attacks are targeting residents with smart devices with camera and Voice recognition smart devices”

Swatting is a term used to describe a hoax call to emergency authorities and reporting of fake threat to human life to draw a response from S.W.A.T. team to a specific location. This has resulted in so much confusion for law enforcement authorities because they have to pull out the resources from valid emergency situations to reach a specific location which turns out to be fake. The FBI is warning users of smart phone and smart home devices to use two factor authentication and use of complex password in order to have an extra protection from these swatting attacks. Swatting may be motivated by revenge, a prank but it is a very serious crime and its repercussions are very harmful.  



Date: 06.01.2021 

“2020 was a good year for Cyber Criminals and a bad one for Financial and Payments Security”

In the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, businesses, educational institutions and almost every activity moved online. Cybercrimes have also increased particularly for banks and payment companies and number of individuals victim of phishing has also increased. According to information given in parliament by the Ministry of electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in September, CERT-IN had reported 696,938 cyber security incidents between January 2020 to August 2020 compared to only 396,456 incidents in whole 2019. There are some of the techniques used by the cyber criminals to target the public: 

  • Fake Websites and illegitimate seller accounts of E-Commerce websites. 
  • Fake UPI IDs 
  • Even instances of fake insurance websites to sell insurance policies have also been reported.  



Date: 04.01.2021 

RBI introduced digital payment index to keep a check on Adoption”

To track the usage of digital payment platforms, RBI has launched Digital Payment Index DPI).  Base year for DPI has been set at 100 as of March 2018 and data has shown that as of March 2019 and March 2020 DPI stood at 153.47 & 207.84 respectively, which indicates significant growth over a two-year period. Five major parameters and few sub-parameters are there, which include; 

  • Payment Enablers  
  • Payment Infrastructure (One from demand side and other from the supply side) 
  • Payment Performance  
  • Consumer Centricity  

However, there are two aspects which may require further discussion; 

Firstly, Customer related issues are given weightage of only 5% and majority index is focused on “Performance” aspect of platforms. 

Secondly, RBI has placed Transaction decline rates System downtimes under consumer centricity and not under supply side of Payment Infrastructure.  



Date: 04.01.2021

Private Companies and PSU’s may get government’s crime database for a fee”

Content: As a background check of any criminal antecedents of any prospective employee private company and PSU’s may get the access to the Crime and Criminals Tracking Network Systems (CCTNS) which is a central repository of criminal records. This process may entail a fee. This step raised some privacy concerns of the individuals and can also increase the possibility of “Discrimination” in the hiring process. According to a former IPS officer who had also been associated with CCTNS initiative said that giving access of “Public Documents” like FIRs to Companies and Government Departments would not call for legal complication. These steps are prone to get misused quite often.  



Date :  02.01.2021 

“Atomic, defence, space units look for collaborations with private companies”

With the view to encourage industry and R&D labs, academia working together, the Government has taken the initiative to ensure India’s atomic, space and defence labs will be tasked with identifying projects that they can work on and build jointly with private companies and academia, as per the draft science and technology policy released on Thursday.

The potential expertise of academics and industry will be tapped to undertake design and developments with necessary non-disclosure agreements for the benefit of the country, it said. Department of Science and Technology secretary Ashutosh Sharma  was of the opinion that strategic labs will become more self reliant if they are connected with the outside world and there needs to be a better exchange of ideas across places. Projects by India’s strategic labs are often delayed or exceed budgets due to the focus on building technology and systems in-house.  

Sharma cited the example of how, during Covid-19, government labs, industry and academia collaborated to make a world-class ventilator in three months. The policy proposes that strategic organizations have a clear plan of transferring technology for commercial applications so that startups and commercial firms can take it to the market. 



Date: 4.01.2021 

“Google Pay is accessing Aadhar Data of citizens without any authorization”

A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court alleging that Google’s G Pay is accessing and storing Aadhar and banking information of citizens which is in violation of various statutory provisions. The petitioner Abhijit Mishra also claimed that according to reply of RTI filed by him in the UIDAI, Google did not get any such permission nor Google applied for any permission. Petitioner further claimed that this is in violation with citizens right of privacy and Aadhar Act of 2016, Payment and settlement act 2007 & Banking regulation act 1949 are also being violated here.  Court also asked the petitioner to file an affidavit which includes previous PILs against Google’s online payment application G Pay and their present status. Next date of hearing is set on 14th January, 2021.  



Date : 04.01.2021 

“Sensitive Data of over 10 crore debit and credit card holders leaked after attack on Juspay’s servers.”

This is looking like biggest data leak in India’s history. Sensitive information of 100 million credit and debit card holders has been leaked on Dark Web due to fault in server. The data that was leaked on the dark web included names, contact numbers, email addresses and last four digits of their card number. Cyber security researcher who had discovered this data leak said that the leaked data was available on dark web for sale for an undisclosed amount and it was selling with the name of Juspay. This data leak contained information related to debit and credit card transactions between March 2017 to August 2020.  



Date: 02.01.2021 

“FDI: Amazon, Flipkart face RBI, ED probe”

Amazon and Flipkart have been ordered a probe against for alleged violation of FDI norms and the enforcement Directorate is involved. Previously a three- member committee of from the Commerce and Industry Ministry had reviewed the complaints against the E-Commerce giants. There were also complaints of violations of FEMA regulations and the RBI and ED will be responsible to investigate the charges.

However, a Flipkart spokesperson said it is fully complaint with the applicable laws and regulations whereas, the Amazon India spokesperson declined to comment.  FDI rules do not allow the entry of overseas retailers into the country in the multi-brand segment or e-commerce. As a result, Amazon and Flipkart, which is now majority controlled by Walmart, are operating what they call are marketplaces. 



Date: 01.01.2021

‘Indigo Airlines discloses a breach to its data servers in December, 2020’

The company (InterGlobe Aviation Ltd.) suggested that some data was compromised and anticipates sharing of internal documents on public websites and platforms. The extent of the data breach is yet to be ascertained. The company has also not disclosed the breach to its customers yet.


January, 2021

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