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Sequoia India appoints Shweta Rajpal Kohli as head of public policy

Venture capital firm Sequoia India hired Shweta Rajpal Kohli as the head of public policy, after the VC firm created a new role focused on public policy, managing director of Sequoia Capital, Shailendra J. Singh, announced on Tuesday. Kohli was earlier the director of government affairs and public policy for India and South Asia at Salesforce. Kohli has also been Uber’s policy head for India and South Asia. As part of her role, Kohli will work with industry bodies and associations, and will enab...
Tags: Travel, News, Southeast Asia, India, Salesforce, South Asia, Cto, Sequoia, South East Asia, Kohli, Nikhil, Industry Moves, Star India, Sequoia India, Sequoia Capital India, Shweta Rajpal Kohli


Agenda and Reading List: Discussions on Non Personal Data; Aug 6 and 7 #Ad

We are looking forward to our online sessions on the Governance of Non Personal Data, being held in partnership with the Centre for Communication Governance (NLU-Delhi). We are hosting these sessions on August 6 and 7, a week before the August 13 deadline for submitting comments to the government on the draft Non Personal Data Governance Framework. We are doing this across two days, because we felt that, given the details in the report, it required a more in-depth discussion (and debate), and a ...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, News, India, Un, Bill, Committee, Infosys, NPD, Chatham House, FTI, IPR, DSCI, Sean McDonald, Neil Lawrence, Sameer Nigam


WhatsApp now allows users to search the web to verify claims made in forwards

WhatsApp now allows users in a handful of markets — but not India — to verify claims made in forwarded messages on the platform, the company announced on August 3. The feature, called ‘search the web’, will add a magnifying glass icon next to “messages that have been forwarded many times”. The icon will appear next to messages that have been forwarded at least five times, according to TechCrunch. We have reached out to WhatsApp for more details. The feature was rolled out in Brazil, Italy, Irela...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, News, India, US, Whatsapp, Misinformation, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Fake News, Disinformation, Brazil Italy Ireland Mexico Spain UK


Air Asia starts facial verification of passengers at Bengaluru International Airport

Passengers of Air Asia India flights, boarding from Bengaluru’s international airport, can now choose to authenticate their identity via facial recognition systems installed at the airport as part of the Indian government’s DigiYatra scheme. The airport, in a statement on August 3, said that passengers can choose to either board an Air Asia flight by going through the biometric authentication process, or through the existing manual process. We’ve reached out to the airport with more questions. A...
Tags: Travel, Asia, News, Privacy, Surveillance, Delhi, Facial Recognition, Biometrics, Bengaluru, Bangalore, Air Asia, CISF, Bengaluru International Airport, Vistara, Air Asia India, DigiYatra


Kashmiri businesses teetering on bankruptcy, as year-long Internet shutdown chokes e-commerce

By Aakash Hassan This is the second in a series of three articles chronicling the impact of the nearly year-long disruption in internet services in the Kashmir region, one of the longest in the world. Part Two looks at how the local economy has been affected. Musiab Nisar always aspired to be a successful entrepreneur. Despite holding a Master’s degree in Environmental Science, Nisar’s was always keen on creating an independent business. Barely months after his graduation in October 2018, N...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, News, Delhi, New Delhi, Kashmir, Srinagar, Jammu, Kashmiri, Nisar, Jammu and Kashmir, Internet shutdowns, Samiullah, Article 370, Aakash Hassan, Musiab Nisar


Facebook to depose before Committee on Data Protection Bill on Aug 10

Facebook is scheduled to depose before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill during the Committee’s next meeting on August 10, as per the Lok Sabha website. The social media giant will be accompanied by representatives from the law firm Luthra & Luthra, industry body ASSOCHAM, and a Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre. We had earlier reported that the meeting would take place on August 10. Screenshot from the Lok Sabha website. During the previous meeting on July 27, t...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, News, Privacy, Npr, Bill, Committee, Lok Sabha, ASSOCHAM, Abdul Kalam, Vivek Joshi, NCRB, Luthra Luthra, Personal Data Protection Bill, Personal Data Protection Bill 2019, Joint Parliamentary


India imposes restrictions on import of TVs

India has imposed restrictions on import of colour televisions (which effectively means all consumer TVs), presumably in a bid to encourage domestic production. In a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on July 31, imports of colour TVs in certain categories will now require a licence from the government, as the directorate revised the import policy for these items from “free” to “restricted”. The directorate said it will separately issue the procedure for the grant of...
Tags: Travel, News, China, India, Economic Times, Colour TVs


Apple sees growth in Mac and iPad sales owing to global work from home restrictions

Apple had a strong June quarter, and Mac and iPad sales, aided by the global shelter-in-place rules, were a major contributor: iPad revenue grew, sequentially, by over 50%, while revenue from Macs increased by over 30% in the same period. iPhone sales, meanwhile, grew marginally over last year, but fell down by as much as nearly 9% compared to the March quarter. The Services category, which had done really really well for Apple in the March quarter, more or less remained unaffected, as Apple loo...
Tags: Travel, Iphone, Apple, Cook, News, Mac, La, China, US, Intel, Tim Cook, Earnings, App Store, Télé, UC San Diego Health, Maestri


Google wants to be only destination for Search and digital advertising: 14 key takeaways from Pichai’s deposition before the antitrust subcommittee

Given that Google earns more than $100 billion, there is “a fundamental conflict of interest between serving users who want to access the best and most relevant information and Google’s business model, which incentivises Google to sell ads and keep users on Google’s own sites,” David Cicilline (D-RI), the chair of the subcommittee, said at the Big Tech CEOs’ hearing before the House subcommittee on antitrust on July 29 (available to watch here). But Google CEO Sundar Pichai clarified that ads ar...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Cook, News, Microsoft, Congress, Navy, Youtube, Senate, China, US, Joe Biden


Apple’s preferential treatment in App Store, coercive practices: 8 key takeaways from Cook’s deposition before the antitrust subcommittee

Apple’s App Store policies are such that at one point even Facebook’s CFO Sheryl Sandberg thought that Apple could lock out Facebook’s apps, the Big Tech CEOs’ hearing before the House subcommittee on antitrust on July 29 (available to watch here) revealed. Questions to Apple CEO Tim Cook largely focussed on the company’s App Store policies. “I am concerned that Apple’s policies are also picking winners and losers in the app economy, and that Apple rules mean Apple apps always win.” — Representa...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Cook, News, China, US, Competition, Beijing, House, Tim Cook, Antitrust, Baidu, Johnson


Saregama Carvaan sales plummet amid pandemic; company slashes marketing, manpower

Music label and film production company Saregama’s Carvaan physical music player suffered as the lockdown almost completely halted physical retail sales. Even with e-commerce platforms coming back on track later in Q1FY21, only 15,000 units of Carvaan were sold, compared to 198,000 units in Q3FY20 and 74,000 in Q4FY20. Source: Saregama The company said it heavily cut marketing and personnel costs for Carvaan, though it did not specify how much was saved in this exercise — Saregama Managing Di...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, Facebook, Spotify, News, Netflix, Saregama, Mehra, Carvaan, Vikram Mehra, Earnings Jun20, Saregama Increase, Saregama Public


Digitised credits to AI: Tech-related provisions in National Education Policy 2020

The National Education Policy 2020, which was released on July 29, had a number of tech-related proposals, including promoting artificial intelligence, starting from including it in the education curriculum, to making funds available for research in the area. The policy also proposed to create an Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) to digitally store academic credits earned by students from various recognised institutes of higher education, so that these institutes can award degrees to students after ...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Digital, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Ai, Education Ministry, HEI, National Research Foundation, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, National Education Policy 2020, Academic Bank of Credit ABC, National Educational Alliance for Technology, SWAYAM, General Education Council GEC


Citing ALT Balaji show, Defence Ministry asks govt to require NOC for army-related content: Report

A Ministry of Defence letter has asked the government to require a no-objection certificate for content in the “public domain” that features the armed forces. The Tribune first covered the letter on July 31. The letter cited an episode of the ALT Balaij/Zee5 show XXX Uncensored which led to backlash months after the episode came out. Both streaming services censored the scene that caused the outrage in June. “The producers of movies/web series etc based on Army theme [sic] may be advised to obta...
Tags: Travel, News, Netflix, Ministry Of Defence, Army, Trai, Ott, Ministry, Defence Ministry, Health Ministry, NOC, Mobile Association of India, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Central Board of Film Certification, Medianama, CBFC


Facebook bought, copied, threatened competition: 11 key takeaways from Zuckerberg’s deposition before the antitrust subcommittee

In his introductory remarks at the Big Tech CEOs’ hearing before the House subcommittee on antitrust on July 29 (available to watch here), Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg conveniently gave a skewed picture of Facebook’s dominant position. “In many areas, we’re behind our competitors. The most popular messaging service in the US is iMessage. The fastest growing app is TikTok. The most popular app for video is YouTube. The fastest growing ads platform is that of Amazon. The largest ads pl...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, News, Pinterest, Instagram, US, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Competition, Netflix, House, Antitrust


Amazon targeted sellers, investees, AWS clients with anti-competitive practices: 9 key takeaways from Bezos’s deposition before the antitrust subcommittee

On questioning by Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), who is also the vice-chair of the subcommittee on antritrust, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos conceded that Amazon accounts for 40% of “online retail sales in the e-commerce market stream”. In his prepared testimony, Bezos had said, “Amazon accounts for less than 1% of the $25 trillion global retail market and less than 4% of retail in the US”, characterising retail as everything — including restaurants, bars, gas stations, Neguse pointed out...
Tags: Travel, Google, Amazon, News, Congress, China, India, US, Competition, Netflix, House, New York Times, Antitrust, Aws, Jeff Bezos, Johnson


Microsoft-TikTok: On Global ambitions, Geopolitics, IPO plans, Big Tech and the splinternet

It’s official: Microsoft is in talks to buy the TikTok business from ByteDance in four countries: the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This comes a day after US President Donald Trump told reporters on-board Air Force One that “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States”. President Trump was not in favor of a US company buying Tiktok, but and was considering an executive order to ban it. However, as per Microsoft’s statement (reproduced in full belo...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, UK, News, Supreme Court, Microsoft, China, India, Satya Nadella, US, Social Media, Linkedin, Eu, Bloomberg, United States, United Kingdom


Jio data traffic grows 30.2% YoY in Q1 2021, ARPU at Rs 140

In the June quarter, when nationwide lockdowns were at their strictest, Jio’s data traffic grew to 14,200 petabytes, up 10.6% from the March quarter. This is in line with Airtel’s data increase, which grew by 8.6%. The company posted a net profit of Rs 2,520 crore, up 183% YoY and only 8.1% QoQ, on account of the pandemic. Revenue stood at Rs 19,513 crore, a 4.7% QoQ increase and a 33.7% YoY increase. Unlike Airtel and Vodafone Idea, Jio’s AGR dues are paid off, and this gives it a significant a...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Telecom, Earnings, Airtel, Arpu, EBITDA, Reliance Industries, Jio, Mukesh Ambani, AGR, Jio Platforms, Earnings Jun20, Vodafone Idea Jio, Rajan Mathews Google


Facebook signs deals with labels for music videos: Report

In a significant development for Facebook’s music business, the company has just signed music video deals with Warner, Sony and Universal, the three largest labels in the world, Bloomberg reports. Earlier this month, the company wrote to artists saying that their music videos would be automatically added to their pages, and if they chose not to do so, the company would set a page for those videos on its own. The deal with the big three labels seems to pave the way for the social media company to...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Spotify, Music, News, Instagram, India, Bloomberg, Warner Music Group, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Saregama, Facebook Watch, In India Facebook, Zee Music, Warner Sony


Delhi High Court issues dynamic John Doe blocking order for Disney pirate sites

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued a dynamic John Doe blocking order for websites that Disney says are distributing their content illegally, India Legal reported. The court ordered ISPs to block websites like KissCartoon, KissAnime, and GoGoAnime, which have been showing Disney shows on their website. The single-judge bench of Rajiv Shakdhar ordered that although there had been a procedural error in not including the Union of India on top of the Department of Telecommunications and the Minist...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Censorship, Disney, Piracy, Bombay, Delhi High Court, John Doe, UTV, Department of Telecommunications, Union of India, John Doe Order, Ministry of Electronics Information Technology, Rajiv Shakdhar, Saikrishna Associates


‘Couple of years’ before 5G has any significance in India, says Airtel’s Gopal Vittal

“ We have always maintained that the price of the spectrum on 5G as has been indicated is very expensive and we won’t be able to afford it at those levels,” Bharti Airtel India & South Asia CEO Gopal Vittal told investors on Thursday, adding that 5G is still a nascent technology and ecosystem, and that it would be quite some time before it has any significance in India. “The fundamental issue really is that at these levels of ARPU — 5G offers higher speeds and lower latency. If you have more spe...
Tags: Travel, Verizon, News, Supreme Court, India, Earnings, Airtel, Arpu, Kohli, Jio, Gopal Vittal, Vittal, AGR, IVRS, Badal Bagri, COVID


260 Chinese boats fish near Galapagos; Ecuador on alert

Some call it a floating city, a flotilla of 260 mostly Chinese fishing vessels near the Galapagos archipelago that is stirring diplomatic tension and raising worries about the threat to sharks, manta rays and other vulnerable species in waters around the UNESCO world heritage site. The Chinese fleet is “very close" to the edge of the exclusive economic zone around the Galapagos, which extends 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the archipelago, said its governor, Norman Wray.
Tags: News, Unesco, Ecuador, Galapagos


Five Fun Cross-Country Ski Centers Close to NYC  

Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Photo: courtesy of Mt. Van Hoeveberg. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most people skipped their summer vacations. We don’t know what will happen by the time ski season is open, but we hope for the best. Hopefully, we’ll be back to the old normal instead of adjusting to the “new normal.” Cross-country skiing will be possible even in the new normal circumstances. Maybe we’ll skip the after-ski parties and get-togethers. Skiing is an individual sport, which allows you to maintain...
Tags: Travel, News, Sport, Skiing, Jeremy, Hudson Valley, Smiley, Lake Placid NY, Mt Van Hoevenberg, Other News, Mohonk Mountain House, Five Fun Cross Country Ski Centers Close, NYC Cross Country Skiing, High Point State Park, Sussex New Jersey Snow, High Point Cross Country Ski Center


Kashmir’s students struggle with online classes, as internet shutdown in region approaches one year mark

This is the first in a series of articles chronicling the impact of the nearly year-long disruption in internet services in the Kashmir region, one of the longest in the world. Part one looks at how education has been affected. Farmann Shabir was engaged in vigorous preparation for his class 10th board examination—supposed to be held in two months—when panic gripped Kashmir after a sudden increase in the deployment of forces on July 27. But Shabir chose to focus on his studies. The 17-year-old...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Kashmir, Mir, Jammu, Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, Shabir, Internet shutdowns, south Kashmir, Awantipora, Article 370, Farmann Shabir, Southern Kashmir, Kashmir Board of School Education


Data consumption on Airtel grew by 8.6% QoQ during first months of lockdown

Data consumption per user on Airtel’s networks grew by 8.6% QoQ during the first three months of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, from 15GB per user per month to 16.3GB. The company’s net loss stood at Rs 15,933 due to accounting for the AGR dues that the telco intends to pay over the coming years. Not accounting for “exceptional” items, the net loss is Rs 436 crore, Airtel said in its press release for the quarter. Mobile service revenues stood at Rs 12,877.2 crore, down 0.5% QoQ, and up 18.5...
Tags: Travel, News, Earnings, Airtel, AGR, Earnings Jun20


Lawyer files PIL in Madras HC seeking pre-censorship of social media, OTT platforms

Advocate K Suthan on Monday a PIL in the Madras High Court asking for a pre-censorship authority for social media and OTT platforms. The Times of India first reported on the petition. Six other high courts have heard cases asking for censorship of streaming services, and those courts have largely either dismissed the cases or deferred hearing on them as a similar case is pending before the Supreme Court. Suthan’s case stands out for its inclusion of user-generated content in the demanded scope...
Tags: Travel, News, Instagram, Censorship, Social Media, Netflix, Hindu, Tamil Nadu, Médias, YouTube Channel, Madras, Times of India, Muruga, YouTube Facebook, Petitioner, Madras High Court


‘Won’t share Indians’ data with any country even if requested’: TikTok

Popular short video app TikTok has not shared Indian users’ data with any foreign government, nor has it used it to compromise the integrity of India, the company’s India head Nikhil Gandhi said in a blog post on July 29. “Even if we are requested [by a foreign government] to [share Indians’ data] in the future, we would not do so”, he claimed. TikTok was among the 59 ‘Chinese’ apps that were banned in India, in June, over concerns of national security, and privacy. The ban had come amid heighte...
Tags: Travel, News, Congress, China, India, Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs, Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, MHA, Medianama, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, IT Ministry, Tiktok, Section 69A, Nikhil Gandhi


‘Company size doesn’t prevent competition’, Zuckerberg to argue at antitrust hearing

“Facebook is a successful company now, but we got there the American way: we started with nothing and provided better products that people find valuable. As I understand our laws, companies aren’t bad just because they are big. Many large companies that fail to compete cease to exist,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to tell lawmakers at an antitrust hearing on Wednesday, according to prepared remarks released to the public. “We know that our future success is not guaranteed, especially in a ...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, News, Instagram, Congress, China, US, America, Competition, Tim Cook, Antitrust, Jeff Bezos


Event Changes: Governance of Non-Personal Data; Aug 6 AND 7, 2020 #Ad

We’ve expanded our online round table discussion on Non Personal Data to two days – to be held on the 6th AND the 7th of August, 2020. You can apply to attend here. We made this decision in discussion with our partners, the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi. We felt that the report is fairly detailed and each segment deserves a dedicated amount of time to unpack. Since the online format is not conducive to a full day discussion, we decided to split the session...
Tags: Travel, News, India, Ad, NPD, Medianama, NAMA announcements, Non Personal Data Authority


‘App Store commissions are comparable to competitors’: Tim Cook in his prepared congressional testimony

Apple CEO Tim Cook will defend Apple’s App Store policies, and identify Google and Huawei as “fierce” rivals to the iPhone in his antitrust congressional testimony on late Wednesday. In particular, he’ll submit that the 30% commission that Apple charges from developers on in-app purchases — which has been heavily criticised — is “comparable” to some of its competitors, according to a prepared testimony. Cook won’t be alone at the congressional hearing, as CEOs of the other three Big Tech compani...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Google, Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg, Cook, News, US, Eu, Competition, Netflix, Tim Cook, Antitrust, Jeff Bezos, App Store, Huawei


A complete guide to OTT content regulation in India

As the streaming video industry and the government hold discussions on regulation streaming services like Netflix and Hotstar in India, here’s a complete guide to OTT regulation in India. The Digital Content Complaints Committee IAMAI’s new code for online content streaming sets up a self-regulatory body, incorporates penalties [read] Self Regulation for Online Curated Content Providers, IAMAI [ ] Streaming players ask IAMAI to recall streaming content code, question legitimacy; IAMAI resp...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, Asia, Hollywood, News, Supreme Court, John Oliver, India, BJP, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Cbs, Kashmir, Asean, Karnataka, Ji



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