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Policy Wrap: WhatsApp fined €5.5m by Irish privacy regulator for violation of EU's privacy laws, SC denies stay on CCI fine of ₹1337 Cr on Google, and more
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WhatsApp fined €5.5m by Irish privacy regulator for violation of EU's privacy laws
WhatsApp subsidiary was fined €5.5 million euros ($5.95 million) on Thursday for another violation of the EU's privacy laws by Ireland's Data Privacy Commissioner (DPC), the EU's top privacy regulator.
Following a similar directive it issued this month to Meta's other two main platforms, Facebook and Instagram, the DPC also instructed WhatsApp to review how it uses personal data for service improvements. That directive stated that Meta must review the legal justification for its use of personal data to target advertising. The regulator also directed WhatsApp to bring its processing operations into compliance within 6 months.
In September 2021, WhatsApp was penalised by the DPC for violations that took place in May 2018. WhatsApp is currently pursuing an appeal against that fine in Irish courts.
A total of 10 inquiries into Meta's services are currently open, and the authority has already penalised Meta 1.3 billion euros so far.
SC denies stay on CCI fine of ₹1337 cr on Google, establishes that Google is not above law of the land
On Thursday, the Supreme Court declined to overturn the decision of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) which had refused to stay the ruling of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
The CCI had fined Google India Rs 1,337 crore for abusing its dominant position in the Android ecosystem back in October 2022. Apart from the monetary penalty, CCI had also issued a cease-and-desist order for all the anti-competitive practices which the tech behemoth was involved in.
The matter was listed for admission before the NCLAT on the 11th of January this year, wherein the tribunal refused the stay and asked Google to submit 10% of the penalty amount.
The Supreme Court declined to grant stay on the order. The bench also observed that "Findings by CCI cannot be said to be without jurisdiction or with manifest error". The findings cannot be regarded as contrary to weight of record at an interlocutory stage.
The Supreme Court has directed Google to comply with the remedial directions given by the CCI in a week’s time.
Starting a business in India possible in 1 day; country progressing fast in ease of doing business: DPIIT Secretary
According to the Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), starting a business in India may now be accomplished in a single day, similar to the likes of New Zealand, which is the top performer in the world in this aspect.
The ease of doing business in India is currently being improved in a number of other ways, particularly on the front of labour legislation.
According to the DPIIT, all labour regulations have been compiled into four codes that have been approved by Parliament and are currently being put into effect by the government.
Even though the central government is still working to secure the agreement of all the states and union territories, the majority of states have already begun to recognise the advantages and are already putting the regulations in place.
Reserve Bank of India governor says Digital currencies similar to gambling and should be banned
Shri Shaktikanta Das, the governor of India's central bank, has advocated for the country to outlaw virtual currencies because of how similar they are to gambling.
At the Business Today Banking and Economy Summit, the chief of the central bank made the announcement and reiterated his justifications for the planned ban. He contended that there is no real value behind the values of digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), which are based solely on speculation.
Anything whose value is solely based on conjecture, according to him, is nothing more than pure speculation or gambling.
The argument that digital assets are financial products is completely "misplaced." Introducing gambling legislation to govern digital assets is the best method to oversee the sector.
India's plan for an indigenous OS may give unsettle Google, Apple plans
The government is now developing a native mobile operating system after India's fair trade authority imposed steep fines on internet giant Google for allegedly exploiting its dominating position.
The proposal, according to the Business Standard, which cited senior government officials on January 16, is meant to challenge Google and Apple's hegemony in the Indian market for mobile operating systems.
According to a recent Frost & Sullivan analysis, the Indian mobile phone market, which includes feature phones and smartphones, is expected to earn Rs 2.4 trillion in sales by FY26, up from Rs 1.4 trillion in FY22.
It should be emphasised that Google's Android and Apple's iOS, which make up a smaller portion of the mobile operating system industry, together account for almost 97 percent of the market.
As of now, Google has claimed that the CCI ruling will compel it to alter its long-standing business model and that it will increase the cost of devices, impair the internet, create dangers to users' privacy, and harm app developers.
The article also stated that domestic mobile manufacturers are in favour of installing an Indian operating system on phones.
A senior government official stated that one of the world's biggest marketplaces for mobile devices is India, and the goal is to develop a safe mobile operating system for Indian consumers that might also give them more options and competition, reducing iOS's market share and challenging Android's supremacy.
44% decrease in hiring by Indian startups in the last quarter of 2022
According to human resources consulting firm CIEL HR Services, hiring by Indian start-ups decreased by 44% in the final 3 months of 2022 compared to the first 3 months of that year.
The organisation conducted a survey that showed that recruiting at Indian start-ups has been steadily declining.
Aditya Narayan Mishra, managing director and CEO of CIEL HR Services, commented on this by saying that despite the current grave economic uncertainty, India remains the leader in the startup ecosystem. This setback is merely temporary as it will encourage start-ups to take their overall operations more seriously and establish higher standards.
The report mentions "Lack of flexibility, shift-away from remote working culture and inadequate support for childcare and eldercare needs continue to be hindrances for women to sustain and progress in the start-up ecosystem".
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