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Mandatory Data Localisation Could Hurt India’s GDP Growth

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Should the final Data Protection Bill relax data localisation requirements to sustain our record GDP growth? Does data localisation even solve the original intent of the bill – to protect our data? Is the current draft bill lopsided in prescribing penalties for corporations but without checks and balances regarding government surveillance? Will India’s increasingly internet-savvy public be burdened with higher costs due to localisation of vast amounts of data?

These were the main topics of discussion at the Broadband India Forum (BIF) panel discussion on the recently released draft Bill on Data Protection. Broadband India Forum (BIF) is a policy forum and think-tank that includes membership of startups, professional entities, Telcos and global technology players. Mr. TV Ramachandran, President Broadband India Forum stated, “this meeting was to get a wide range of inputs from stakeholders to finalize the BIF response to be sent shortly.”

BIF and the panel of experts at the meeting welcomed the opportunity for public consultation extended by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) before drafting the final bill. The panel felt that having to store vast amounts of data within the country, whether exclusively or as a copy, would have an adverse socio-economic impact on innovation, information and technology access, and trade. Dr. Kuldip Singh, former member TDSAT, talked about India presently also lacking the infrastructure and capacity needed to set up and maintain large data centres. He mentioned that incentivizing innovation instead of forced data localization will prevent demand-supply issues, and increase in prices of ICT services.

With an unwavering goal to enhance broadband and internet access for all Indians, in line with the PM’s Digital India mission, TK Arun, Sr. Editor Economic Times stated, “Protecting Indians’ personal data is critical for national safety but is demanding data be physically located in India the answer?”

The panel noted that even the current gold standard of global privacy regulations, the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) does not mandate localisation but ensures that the long arm of their law extends to any data related to their citizens – regardless of the location of said data. Nikhil Pahwa, Founder & CEO – MediaNAMA remarked that other democracies around the world are also addressing concerns around lawful access to data located in a cloud without resorting to data localisation. Empowering India’s law enforcement authorities beyond our borders through bilateral agreements with other nations will help penalize wrongdoers, protect our data anywhere in the world and promote economic growth.

Several members of the panel believed localisation could place a huge financial and operational burden on India’s start-up and small business ecosystem. Indian innovation thrives and competes on par with global giants through the use of economical cloud-based services. Will localisation hamper India’s plan to bring jobs and investments to India, particularly in the exports and IT-BPM services industries? And how will it affect our trade agreements with the US and other nations? Dr. Kuldip Singh remarked about a reduction in cross-border data flows with a protectionist policy potentially prompting retaliatory measures from other nations that might further hamper the growth of our economy.

When asked how he sees localisation affecting small businesses and startups, Mr. TK Arun expressed concern about the general Indian public bearing the burden of any additional operational and legal costs incurred. While the very rich may not feel the pinch, what is the effect likely to be on our middle and lower stratas?

Speaking about the issue of data privacy, Mr. TK Arun, stated, “today there is no law that prevents the government from infringing on your property by the state. Government agencies must also be held accountable to the people.” Data-driven innovation and data privacy could peacefully co-exist provided citizen privacy is protected from unwarranted government surveillance as well.

Mr. Nikhil Pahwa, Founder MediaNAMA stated, “Currently the costs for anyone to create anything in this country is very low and this promotes innovation. Localisation requirements will make it cost-prohibitive for startups and also undermine their capability to access global markets through digital platforms.”

Ms. Swati Punia, CUTs spoke from the consumer point of view. She felt that the draft bill was tilted towards establishing data sovereignty or government restrictions versus consumer sovereignty where users control the data. She mentioned that data localization will compromise consumer’s ability to access information and state-of-the-art technologies from across the world.

The panel meeting was well-attended with over fifty representatives from the media, high-profile authors, policy experts, industry and consumer rights groups.

The meeting concluded with a debate on the role of the Data Protection Authority – how will their role be defined going forward? The panel recommended that the final bill includes checks and balances for when the government can access an individual’s data, and provide options for recourse for affected individuals.

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It’s Time to Win Big with CRED This IPL

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The excitement for India’s marquee cricket event Indian Premier League 2021 is increasing as we inch closer to the daily nail-biting thrillers. To make the experience unforgettable for its members, CRED, the official sponsor of the event, is back, making it more rewarding not just for players but members too. CRED has introduced thrilling rewards every day that will allow the members to make the most of their CRED Coins, much more than ever. All the members have to do is pay their credit card bills on time to earn CRED coins that they can then use to make these deals sweeter during the 16-day carnival, starting September 19 onwards. 

More the merrier

The rewards are so exciting that CRED members will look forward to paying their credit card bills on time as they will be rewarded with CRED Coins. Spending their CRED coins will help them get access to deals and discounts on in-app products such as CRED pay, CRED rewards, CRED travel and CRED Store members stand to earn mind-blowing prizes every day from till September 25. These prizes range from an elegant BMW G310R sports bike to a Bitcoin worth INR 5 lakh. CRED has partnered with premium brands, including BMW Bikes, Tanishq, Coins DCX, Stockal, Home Centre, among others, to bring the best experience to its members to enjoy the sporting season from the safety of their homes. And it does not end here! From September 27, members will stand a chance to win even more unbelievable rewards as CRED will reveal its upcoming, and the biggest ever, flagship campaign. Stay tuned!

Growing community

Since IPL 2021 was paused in May, CRED and its community have grown together. After the ongoing season was brought to a halt due the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, CRED members joined hands to support the ones who were affected through its Oxygen campaign to deploy 1 billion litres of oxygen to healthcare foundations and hospitals. Later in August, CRED members came together again to provide over 1 million dry ration kits to underprivileged families who were majorly affected by the pandemic. CRED members donated their CRED coins for these important and timely initiatives to help the community when needed most. 

Kunal Shah, Founder & CEO, CRED said, “The second instalment of IPL 2021 is kicking off, and we wanted to make it rewarding for the CRED members tuning in. Members stand a chance to win big by using their CRED coins, which they are rewarded with for good financial behaviour. Such exciting rewards are what makes a mundane task like paying credit card bills in a timely manner more exciting. The celebration is going to be bigger on the CRED App.” 

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Windows 11 Update Coming to These ASUS Laptops

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ASUS announced that it is partnering with Microsoft to ensure users of new and existing ASUS PCs are primed for the launch of Windows 11 after it is available.

As an internationally-respected and trusted manufacturer of Windows PCs, ASUS is proud to be a leading proponent of Windows 11 — the forthcoming latest version of the world’s most popular operating system. In preparation for this exciting launch, ASUS is readying a raft of new and existing devices for a free upgrade to Windows 11.

From today, all newly-purchased ASUS Windows 10 devices that are featured on our upgrade list, along with many existing eligible ASUS Windows 10 devices, will qualify for an upgrade after Windows 11 is released. As an example, both existing users and new purchasers of Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED (UX582), Zenbook Duo 14 (UX482), Zenbook Flip 13 OLED (UX363) and Zenbook 13 OLED (UX325) models will all be eligible for an upgrade to Windows 11 — so prospective buyers can buy today safe in the knowledge that a free upgrade is just around the corner.

Hundreds of other ASUS models that shipped with Windows 10 will also qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 11, including ProArt Studiobook, Zenbook and Vivobook laptops, ROG Strix, ROG Zephyrus and ROG Flow gaming laptops and TUF Gaming laptops and desktops. Many ExpertBook laptops and ExpertCenter desktops will also be eligible, along with many Zen AiO and Vivo AiO models and ASUS Mini PCs.

Windows 11: Get a fresh perspective

With the upcoming launch of Windows 11, Microsoft is set to introduce a new Windows experience that will bring users closer to the people and things they love. For more information on Windows 11, go to the Windows blog.

Prepare to upgrade: Simple steps to ready ASUS PCs for the new operating system

Windows 11 isn’t here yet, but it will be coming later this year. We know that users of ASUS devices will be excited by this prospect, and would wish to prepare for its arrival. There are a number of things owners can do in order to get ready.

  • See if a PC can upgrade

Use the PC Health Check app to see if an existing PC meets the requirements to run Windows 11. If so, it is possible to get a free upgrade after it starts to roll out.

  • Shop for a new PC

Need a new PC now? Great! ASUS has an extensive range of Windows 10 PCs that can upgrade for free after Windows 11 rolls out.

  • Perform a PC backup

It’s so much easier to transfer to a new PC when files and photos from a current PC are backed up to OneDrive.

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VingaJoy GVT-298 Junior Tower Bluetooth Speaker Launched in India

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VingaJoy has announced the launch of its all new GVT-298 Junior Tower Bluetooth Speaker, priced at Rs 2,999. The speaker comes with an elegant design and premium look and also offers USB playing for ease. It is a compact and lightweight bluetooth speaker and thus is ideal to be carried along. Designed for music lovers, VingaJoy GVT-298 is a real treat with a powerful combination of crystal-clear highquality sound and long-lasting battery life. The speaker is available in 3 different colours so that you can pick the one that suits your requirement.

This new speaker comes with the latest Bluetooth feature V5.0 and the device can be connected to bluetooth devices within 11 metres of range. It is backed by a 1200 mAh battery which is rechargeable and delivers up to 5 hours of music playing. It is compatible and can easily be paired with iPhone, Android devices, and laptops as well. This speaker has multiple pairing mode options, such as FM Radio/Aux/TF Function and USP playing. The Junior Tower VingaJoy Bluetooth Speaker is a hassle-free companion for your parties or leisure time.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Lalit Arora, Co-Founder, VingaJoy said, “We are extremely happy to expand our Bluetooth Speaker portfolio with the launch of our Junior Tower Bluetooth Speaker. It is specially designed keeping in mind the music requirements of the millennial. The Bluetooth Speaker looks good, sounds great and is enriched with features that suit the expectations of our customers.”

Available with 6 months’ warranty, VingaJoy GVT-298 Junior Tower Bluetooth Speaker will be available at your nearest retail store as well as online platforms.

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