Policy Wrap: ONDC introduces Network Gift Card, Data Protection Board to be operational within 30 days, disagreement regarding end-to-end encryption on Messenger and Instagram, and more
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ONDC introduces Network Gift Card for corporate gifting and employee engagement
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A network-level gift card called the "ONDC Network Gift Card" has been made available by the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) so that businesses can use it for employee engagement and corporate gifting for the forthcoming holiday season.
The Rupay Network powers these gift cards, which can be loaded with up to Rs 10,000.
Thampy Koshy, the chief executive of ONDC, noted that unlike traditional gift cards, which are restricted to a particular platform or brand, ONDC's gift cards provide customers the option to buy from any brand or product.
Customers can use any ONDC buyer app to make purchases from the network's thousands of vendors using these cards.
The network will be reaching out to more business organisations to encourage them to use the gift cards.
While many other banks and fintech firms are also working to offer ONDC-enabled gift cards, sponsoring organisations can currently contact YES Bank and Omni Card to issue these gift cards.
Data Protection Board to be operational within the next 30 days
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, announced on Wednesday that the Data Protection Board (DPB) established by the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act would be operational within the next 30 days.
The DPB will be established in accordance with the DPDP Act, with a chairperson and members chosen by the national government. Upon learning of a breach involving personal data, the DPB is empowered to order any immediate corrective or mitigating actions, investigate the incident, and apply penalties in accordance with this Act.
Even though it is not in place currently, according to Shri Chandrasekhar, the law is still in effect. He also said that the board will investigate any violations that arise after it is established.
The government on Wednesday held an industry consultation regarding the rules for the DPDP Act, which came into effect last August.
Sri Chandrasekhar stated that the majority of the Act's provisions, with the exception of age-gating, are expected to transition within a year.
For eKYC and age-gating compliance, the minister stated time can be given because the necessary infrastructure needs to be put in place.
End-to-end encryption on Messenger and Instagram a point of contention between Meta and UK
After the Online Safety Bill was approved by the British parliament, Britain urged Meta not to implement end-to-end encryption on Instagram and Facebook Messenger without safeguards to shield children from sexual assault.
End-to-end encryption was planned to be implemented across Messenger and Instagram direct communications, according to Meta, which currently encrypts messages on WhatsApp. The company claims the technology reinforces safety and security.
Suella Braverman, the British Home Secretary, stated that Meta has failed to provide assurances that they will keep their platforms safe from abusers. She added that they must create suitable safeguards to go with their end-to-end encryption plans.
In the new law, end-to-end encryption is a point of disagreement between businesses and the government.
WhatsApp and other messaging companies are opposed to a clause that they claim might force them to compromise end-to-end encryption.
The measure, according to the government, does not put a stop to the technology; rather, it mandates that businesses take steps to prevent child abuse and, as a last resort, develop technology to scan encrypted data.
UK focuses on transparency and access with new guidelines on AI
Britain outlined principles on Monday that emphasise the need for accountability and transparency in order to avoid a small number of tech giants from controlling artificial intelligence (AI) models to the disadvantage of consumers and enterprises.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the nation's anti-trust watchdog, is attempting, like other governments across the world, to curtail some of the potential drawbacks of AI without inhibiting innovation.
The seven guidelines it outlined attempt to control fundamental models like ChatGPT by holding developers responsible, preventing Big Tech from entangling technology in their walled platforms, and putting an end to anti-competitive behaviour like bundling.
The proposed guidelines also include flexibility for enterprises to employ different models and diversity of business models, including both open and closed models.
The CMA's draft guidelines, which come six weeks before Britain holds a summit on global AI safety, will serve as the foundation for its AI policy as it obtains new authority to regulate digital markets in the coming months.
The antitrust regulator declared that it would now solicit opinions from top AI developers like Google, Meta, OpenAI, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Anthropic as well as from academics, governments, and other regulators.
Google’s last roll of the dice to overturn $2.6 billion EU antitrust fine
Alphabet's Google made a last-ditch attempt at Europe's top court to reverse a 2.42 billion euro ($2.6 billion) EU antitrust penalty levied for market abuse relating to its shopping business, claiming that authorities had not proven that its actions were anti-competitive.
After the General Court dismissed Google's appeal of the penalty imposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager in 2017, in 2021, the company resorted to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
Attorney for the Commission Fernando Castillo de la Torre rejected Google's claims, claiming the corporation had violated EU antitrust regulations by using its algorithms to unfairly favour its price comparison shopping service.
What Google was not entitled to do, according to him, was to use its control over general search to strengthen its position in comparison shopping by promoting results from its own services, adorning them with appealing features, and using algorithms that are likely to push down rivals' results and display those without appealing features.
The CJEU will make a decision on this in the next few months.
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