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The Supreme Court of India has commenced final hearings in the long-standing challenge to India’s massive biometric identity apparatus, Aadhaar. Following last August’s ruling in the Puttaswamy case rejecting the Attorney General’s contention that privacy was not a fundamental right, a five-judge bench is now weighing in on the privacy concerns raised by the unsanctioned use of Aadhaar. The […]

Abstract This paper explores the changing tides within India’s labour force with the rise of automation, owing to the dawn of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things. The essay evaluates the impact on the labour force as well as laws and policies put in place to protect the labour issues […]

Executive Summary The easy abundance of personal data online has created a dependence on data and an insatiable appetite for more. Data can provide useful insights, and governments and businesses have legitimate uses for personal information. However, insufficient limits and controls on the amount of data collected and the period for which it is stored […]

Abstract This paper examines how high-value users (HVUs), who are often the first to test out new content, such as a new video, on a recommender system platform provide valuable data for these algorithms and ensure that all subsequent users have a great experience. The paper also explores how the current legal setup, including “terms […]

Last Friday, US Customs and Immigration Services announced that it would be suspending the expedited processing of H1B visas beginning on 3rd April. Though this news has long been pushed off the front pages of US newspapers by President Trump’s revised executive order limiting travel from six majority-Muslim countries, the H1B decision continues to get […]

  • DIGITAL ECONOMY

New trends in digital transactions

Rupa Subramanya

17 March, 2017

Read the first part ► India is adopting digital payments like never before, but cash too seems here to stay On 16 February, I analysed the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data and presented that the demonetisation exercise initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November 2016 led to a jump in several measures of digitisation payments […]

For women, the internet hasn’t been a feature, a convenience or a tool; it’s been an agent of change. The global digital story cannot be complete without mentioning the impact it has had on reducing the gender gap and opening access and opportunity for women. Digital fluency has helped in closing the gender gap at […]

More than three months have passed since the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November 2016, that high denomination notes were being demonetised. There has been much debate on whether the government has achieved its stated goals. We do not yet know the extent of any possible fiscal windfall as the Reserve Bank […]

On August 12, 2016 the Observer Research Foundation convened the first in a series of multistakeholder roundtables on encryption. This report is the outcome of the discussion of issues and proposal of solutions conducted at the roundtable. Being a complex, technical-legal question around access to data for law enforcement, encryption has long been a contested […]

India registered rapid economic growth over the past couple of years, with the GDP growing 7.6 percent in 2015-2016. While economic activity remains buoyant, however, the country still has a long way to go. The government must capitalise on the current economic momentum and use it to accelerate its reform agenda. One of the areas […]

  • DIGITAL ECONOMY

India must attain e-SWARAJ

R K Sharma

8 February, 2017

Abstract India is a sovereign nation; is it digitally sovereign, too? This paper examines the degree to which India is self-reliant in electronic hardware. After all, for a country to be self-reliant in the information age, it has to either attain indigenous capability in electronic manufacturing and services or be equipped to protect data and […]

  • DIGITAL ECONOMY

Navigating the Digital ‘Trilemma’

Samir Saran

14 October, 2016

Debates around internet policy have taken centre stage in domestic politics and international relations alike. While national debates are shaped by local priorities, politics and contextual ambitions, cyber diplomacy differs from traditional diplomacy in two important respects. First, the stakeholders invested in internet policy include not just states and governments but industry and civil society […]

A specialist neurology clinic in Japan has this revealing signage with its website  address prominently proclaiming its function (photo courtesy: #DomainsInTheWild). What is significant about this? The top level domain (TLD) name (.clinic) is precise and resonates. A company that makes smart earplugs using cutting-edge research and high-end technology has the following website address: http://hush.technology. It […]

Acknowledgement of Funding Support and Research Assistance:
This working paper is part of the project titled “Evolving Policy for Spectrum Management through Impact Assessment of Wireless Technology and Broadband Connectivity in Rural India”. We would like to acknowledge the funding support provided by the Ford Foundation.
We would also like to acknowledge the research assistance provided by Ms Kavita Tatwadi, Ms Shivangi Mishra and Ms Sneha Jhala, Research Associates at IITCOE, and Mr Rishabh Dara, Doctoral Scholar at IIMA for this project.

The Internet companies, often referred to as Over-The-Top (OTT) firms have powered “sharing economies” around the world (Weber, 2014). Two Sided Markets (2SM) and associated Platforms (P) form the basis of operation of these firms. In a typical 2SMP

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    The Changing Face of Internet Addresses and Online Identity

    PRIVACY & DATA PROTECTION

    Gajendra Upadhyay
    12 September, 2016

    A specialist neurology clinic in Japan has this revealing signage with its website  address prominently proclaiming its function (photo courtesy:... 

    Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure: An Indian Perspective

    CYBER SECURITY

    R K Sharma
    1 August, 2016

    Abstract Critical information infrastructure (CII) is a pillar on which modern nations function. The revolution in information and communication technologies... 

    ‘Going Dark’ in India: The legal and security dimensions of encryption

    PRIVACY & DATA PROTECTION

    Bedavyasa Mohanty
    6 February, 2017

    Abstract Encrypting communications enhances privacy and the security of information services. This, in turn, incentivises innovation in the ICT sector... 

    The NCIIPC & Its Evolving Framework

    CYBER SECURITY

    Saikat Datta
    27 October, 2016

    Only eight years after India passed the Information Technology Act, did the term cybersecurity appear in a statute through a... 

    Countering Insurgency in Kashmir: The cyber dimension

    CYBER SECURITY

    Vinay Kaura
    14 February, 2017

    Countering the militancy in Kashmir has become a highly challenging task due to the exploitation of new information and communication...