The Policy Wrap: CAIT proposes setting up a unified cyber regulator, gaming IAP drop 35% globally
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IT Minister confirms there are no plans to replace Data Protection Bill with new draft
In a PTI interview, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the Indian government has no plans to replace the current data protection bill, which has undergone detailed consultation and parliamentary panel deliberations with a new draft. He also added that he hopes to get parliament's approval on the draft Bill latest by the monsoon session.
Given that reports have suggested that some companies have expressed concerns over a new set of compliances, he added that "What is important is that compliance mechanism should be as digital as you can make it, then the friction is reduced. The objective should be met, friction should not be there. That is the work we are trying to accomplish, and it is a complex task”.
IAMAI issues statement on Joint Parliamentary Committee’s (JPC) report on the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) issued a statement last week stating that the recommendations of the committee are out of sync with the ground reality.
IAMAI expressed concern on the stringent data localisation rules set out, stating that:
“Placing restrictions on cross-border flows may lead to higher business failure rates, create barriers on the growth of start-ups, increase the cost of compliance for companies and slow down socio-economic benefits reaped from the digital economy. It will also inevitably have a negative impact on the ability of Indian consumers to access a truly global internet.”
IAMAI also stated that the inclusion of non-personal data within the scope of the bill was ‘premature’, as the expert committee report on non-personal data is yet to be finalised.
Further, the body expressed concern about the proposed imposition of age restrictions of 18 years on certain services. “Such a bar will exclude an important demographic from the digital ecosystem and will contradict most data regimes, which create enabling provisions for youth aged between 13 and 18 years. The government should bring in a graded and proportionate risk-based approach for children’s age of consent, depending on the kind and nature of services provided,” it said.
Lastly, IAMAI suggested that “The Government should also review the ‘transparency’ requirement suggested by the JPC. It is very broad and may encroach upon the data fiduciaries’ intellectual property rights. It may be harmful to data fiduciaries if they are mandated to publicly disclose their algorithms and other proprietary information, without adequate safeguards.”
Global IT Bodies express concern over the Data Protection Bill
Global IT bodies addressed a letter to Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw where they expressed their “strong concern” over the recommendations of a Joint Committee of Parliament on the Data Protection Bill.
The letter states that “the report includes new recommendations and novel concepts to the PDP Bill, which, if enacted, would create powerful disincentives for India’s innovation ecosystem and the promise of a trillion-dollar digital economy." The key recommendations of concern in this regard are the inclusion of non-personal data, restrictions on cross-border data transfers, data localization obligations and mandatory hardware/IOT and AI software certifications.
The letter also states that the recommendation to establish a domestic alternative to the international SWIFT banking system is also "unprecedented" – and would have a significant detrimental impact on India’s financial sector and digital payments ecosystem.
Key signatories of this letter include the US-India Business Council (USIBC), the US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Business Europe and the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).
Draft Data Act published in the EU
The European Commission (EC) has recently proposed the draft Data Act. With the Data Act, EC aims to increase access to data and provide a fair environment for the use of data.
The Data Act covers both personal and non-personal data and regulates the access to such data by public bodies and users who help generate the data and the transfer of such data. The Data Act applies to manufacturers and users of data-generating products, data holders and recipients, public bodies and data processing service providers within the European Union.
A full version of the draft text can be accessed here.
CAIT proposes setting up a unified cyber regulator
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), have sent a unanimous request to commerce minister Piyush Goyal to roll out an e-commerce policy and set up a unified Cyber Regulatory Authority.
Supreme Court asks Centre to clarify legality of cryptocurrency
The Supreme Court asked the Centre to make its stand clear on Bitcoins. Currently, there is no regulation or any ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant told the additional solicitor general (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati, was hearing a plea by Ajay Bhardwaj against the Union of India. Bhati submitted before the bench that this case involves 87,000 Bitcoins, with an approximate value of 20,000 crore.
Delay in India's crypto bill justified due to its complexity: experts
The current version of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill reportedly aims to ban all cryptocurrencies as a payment method in India, barring a few private coins to promote underlying technologies, even as it allows the Reserve Bank of India to set up an official digital currency.
Industry experts are of the opinion that the delay in India's cryptocurrency and digital assets legislation is justified because of its complexity and the impact such a decision will have on investors and broader financial markets. They believe that the reforms to the bill with more comprehensive consultations can take India to the forefront of blockchain tech.
In-app Purchases (IAP)
Google launches ‘Play Pass’ subscription in India
Google’s ‘Play Pass’ will offer users access to over 1000 apps or games without any ads or in-app purchases for monthly or yearly subscriptions. It will come with a one-month free trial and the subscription will start at Rs 99 per month.
Google states that the service will not only benefit users but also Indian developers will get a new avenue to expand their global user base and unlock new revenue streams.
Aditya Swamy, Director, Play Partnerships, Google India added: “We want to deliver products and programs that the Play community – both users and developers – find value in, and we are always looking for new ways to do this. With the launch of Play Pass in India, we are excited to offer a robust collection of unlocked titles to our users and looking forward to partnering with more local developers to build amazing experiences users love.”
Gaming in-app purchases drop 35% globally after Apple's ATT changes
AppsFlyer’s State of Gaming App Marketing for 2022 report finds that in-app purchase revenue for mobile games dropped 35% globally since Apple's App Tracking Transparency update in June 2021. Apple's privacy changes led to a 13% year-over-year dip for iOS, contrasting with Android's 35% surge that put overall spending on user acquisition at an 18% increase from 2020.
The sharp decline in in-app purchase revenue illustrates a monetization challenge in the gaming sector as marketers and consumers adjust to a heightened focus on privacy.
Launch of Union Bank MSME RuPay Credit Card
The newly launched RuPay card is being offered by the Union Bank of India in association with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It provides a simplified payment mechanism to MSMEs to meet their business-related operational expenses.
The RuPay Card offers benefits like any time digital payments, interest-free period and will carry an interest rate similar to the rate charged for loans. MSME borrowers will be able to enjoy an interest-free credit period of up to 50 days on their business spending.
The card also offers the EMI facility to the customers on their business-related purchases. MSMEs will also get specially curated efficient business services on this card which will help them in taking their business on most of the digital platforms.
Google & MeitY Startup Hub unveils the first Appscale Academy cohort of startups
Appscale Academy - a growth and development program by MeitY Startup Hub and Google, seeks to identify, and support promising Indian startups and help them grow into successful global businesses.
The first cohort of 100 startups was chosen following an in-depth selection process that took into account their creative ideas and innovation, product quality, product scalability, and talent diversity. The cohort’s main sectors span Education, Health, Finance, Social, E-commerce, and Gaming.
Launch of third edition of National Startup Awards
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has launched the third edition of the National Startup Awards, which will acknowledge startups and enablers who have been instrumental in revolutionising the development story of India and hold within them the power and potential to further fuel the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
The awards for startups will be given in 17 sectors classified into 50 sub-sectors. The 17 sectors are Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Construction, Drinking Water, Education & Skill Development, Energy, Enterprise Technology, Environment, FinTech, Food Processing, Health and Wellness, Industry 4.0, Media & Entertainment, Security, Space, Transport, and Travel.
With inputs from The Quantum Hub.