Data breaches have become an issue for companies in the digital era, with no entity being spared for direct or even indirect involvement in a breach. Recently, Dominos Indiawas subject to a data breach by an unidentified hacker who allegedly took over 20 crore order details from Domino’s India server. What must have been worrisome for Dominos India would have been the fact that they collect information such as their customer’s name, email address, contact details, location and their address.
[This two-part essay has been authored by Aarya Pachisia, a 4th-year law student at Jindal Global Law School. Part One can be found here.]
Continuing the argument of how the executive seeks to control different actors under the Bill, this article focuses on executive control over the citizens. I advance the argument in two parts. First, I argue that under section 35 of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (‘the Bill’), a notification by the executive can exempt any stage agency from obtaining consent to process data of the citizens. There is no oversight mechanism envisaged by the Legislature under the Bill, as recommended by the Committee to validate or invalidate such notifications. Second, I argue that the Bill also considerably dilutes the consent framework under the Bill and drifts away from the concept of allowing the data subject to exercise control over personal data at every stage.
[This two-part essay has been authored by Aarya Pachisia, a 4th-year law student at Jindal Global Law School. Part Two can be found here.]
Technology is advancing at lightning speed, making privacy violations inevitable. Today, machine learning software is sophisticated enough to predict one’s sexual orientation, political and religious affiliation merely by processing their likes on Facebook. The Whatsapp Snooping scandal is another instance, where WhatsApp has filed a case in the court of California against the NSO group for hacking targets’ phones through the app. The case brought to light that unchecked power and absence of proper legal mechanism can lead to gross violations of right to privacy.
[This post has been authored by Sanjana L.B., a 4th year student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad.]
In January 2021, India had the highest number of Facebook users at 320 million. This was followed by the United States of America (“USA”), with 190 million users. As of February 2021, about 53.1% of the population of Myanmar were active social media users. These numbers are not only indicative of internet penetration, but also of the audience for user-generated content on platforms like Facebook. This article focuses, firstly, on the need for content moderation on social media by looking at harmful precedents of inefficient moderation, and secondly, on the Indian Government’s approach to content moderation through the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Intermediary Guidelines”) and recent developments surrounding the regulation of social media content in India.
Welcome to our fortnightly newsletter, where our reporters Harsh Jain and Harshita Lilani put together handpicked stories from the world of tech law! You can find other issues here, and you can sign up for future editions of the the newsletter here.
Facebook-Australia standoff ends as both parties agree to truce
Facebook has reached an agreement with the Australian Government and will restore news pages in the country days after restricting them. The decision follows negotiations between the tech giant and the Australian Government, which is set to pass a new media law that will require digital platforms to pay for news. The law, if passed, will make digital platforms pay local media outlets and publishers to link their content in news feeds or search results. Under the amendments, the Australian Government will give digital platforms and news publishers two months to mediate and broker commercial deals before subjecting them to mandatory arbitration under the proposed media law. Both Google and Facebook have fought against the media law since last year. Google previously threatened to remove its search service from Australia in response to the proposed law. But the company has since struck commercial deals with local publishers including the Murdoch family-owned media conglomerate News Corp. Facebook, for its part, followed through with a threat to remove news features from Australia.
[Lian Joseph is a fourth-year law student and contributing editor at robos of Tech Law and Policy, a platform for marginalized genders in the technology law and policy field. This essay is part of an ongoing collaboration between r – TLP and the NALSAR Tech Law Forum Blog. Posts in the series may be found here.]
Facebook’s Oversight Board (OB) was instituted to respond to the growing concerns regarding Facebook’s inadequate content moderation standards. The company has been alleged to have proliferated and played an important role in several instances of human right violations, hate and misinformation campaigns related to elections and COVID 19 among other issues. The introduction of the OB – the Facebook Supreme Court, as it has been dubbed – was met with a lot of skepticism, with many arguing that it was an attempt to deflect actual accountability. The Board was established as an independent body with a maximum of 40 members, separate from Facebook’s content review process with the power to review decisions made by the company and suggest changes and recommendations. Notably, the OB will be reviewing cases that are of grave concern and have potential to guide future decisions and policies. Appeals can be made by the original poster or the person who previously submitted it for review or by Facebook itself referring matters.
[This two-part post has been authored by Soham Chakraborty, a third year student at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Part I can be found here.]
Part 1 of the article looked at the arguments being made by news publishers and news aggregators. It also looked at various laws passed by different countries in the past and their impacts in the respective countries. This part will attempt to analyze the Australian law in light of the history of such agreements and also tries to make some policy suggestions going forward.
[This two-part post has been authored by Soham Chakraborty, a third year student at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Part II can be found here.]
Nowadays, people are likelier to get their daily doses of information online than by reading a newspaper as in decades past. Even when online, research shows that people are more likely to consume their news from social media or by visiting news aggregators like Yahoo News, Google News etc. which include links to news articles from a variety of publishers.
[This post is authored by Oshi Priya, a third-year student at the National Law University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi.]
Education technology (EdTech) is the means to facilitate e-learning through the combination of software and computer hardware along with educational theory. Though still in its early stages of development, it’s a $700 million industry today in India and is headed for 8-10 times the growth in the next 5 years. Some of the popular EdTech companies in India include Unacademy, BYJU’S, and Toppr, etc.
[This Explainer has been authored by Harsh Jain and Sankalp Jain of the NALSAR Tech Law Forum Blog.]
The over-the-top (‘OTT’) industry in India has been growing exponentially–faster than anywhere else in the world–and pegged to reach a size of $5 billion by the year 2023. With an increase in internet penetration, coverage and speed, the consumption of content available on OTT streaming services is at an all-time high. This has not only increased the accessibility to titles old and new, but has also created a new avenue for content-creation on diverse themes. As the pandemic led to the closure of movie theatres and other forms of public entertainment, OTT platforms have been growing in India along with the rest of the world.