ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Study of Technological Advent and its Impact on Competition In India

Technology-based innovations and the dynamics of their commercialisation have piqued the interest of entrepreneurs and the business community. Compared to traditional "brick and mortar" markets, competition in the digital economy necessitates more attention. The two-way user community that links the service supplier and the consumer is a distinctive feature of the digital economy. The abuse of the dominant position in the digital market is becoming more widespread than in traditional marketplaces. One of the numerous variables contributing to the rise in abuse of the dominant position in the digital market is the lack of entry restrictions. Google is one such example criticised for stifling competition and innovation. Furthermore, Mergers and Acquisitions is a robust platform that can foreclose future markets and curb innovation; instead of competing on merits, it would leverage its market power and is likely to prevent others from competing on merits. The Whatsapp-Facebook merger, a landmark transaction, was regarded as a restriction of competition in the relevant market. In a series of cases, the Competition Commission of India has highlighted blatant problems in identifying and interpreting the CCI’s jurisdiction after technological advancement. The paper will discuss anti-competitive aspects, the effects of mergers and acquisitions, and the privacy risks of the digital economy, with an emphasis on the Indian scenario.

The Urgent Need for Actionable and Comprehensive Data Protection Legislation in India

A rapid shift towards the digital modes of service delivery has highlighted the urgency to protect the privacy and security of the citizens’ data. Through a critical examination of India’s fragmented state of data protection legislation, we advocate for centralising the citizens’ rights in all policies and legislations.

A Defective Data Protection Board

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 is notably silent on a key agency that it proposed to set up to enforce the law—the Data Protection Board. This silence has implications for the constitutional validity of the provisions in question, especially since the bill excludes the jurisdiction of civil courts and makes the board the sole mechanism for the enforcement of rights and liabilities under the bill.

A Setback for Data Privacy Rights

The pullback of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 has nullified the multi-year efforts put in by various stakeholders that have gone into shaping the bill. The promise of a “comprehensive legal framework” to protect the citizens’ data is a hollow one, coming with no clear deadlines or underlying principles.

Extending the Regime of Incarceration

Collecting intimate personal information in criminal proceedings leads to a regime of suspicion and surveillance.

 

Designing an Effective Data Protection Regulator

The revised Personal Data Protection Bill, expected to be tabled in the current monsoon session of Parliament, is a significant move towards India’s first dedicated personal data protection legislation. One of the proposals is a data protection authority, a cross-sectoral regulator that will significantly influence the Indian regulatory landscape. Against the backdrop of these developments, the author seeks to draw out the appropriate regulatory design keeping in mind essential questions of India’s existing regulatory capacity, framework, and jurisprudence.

 

Reconciling Blockchain and Data Protection Regimes

The emergence and spread of blockchain technology will have a profound effect on the working of the economy and society. The focus of this article is on how the spread of the blockchain technology has rendered redundant the various provisions of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.

 

Privacy and Manipulation: How Social Media Has Affected Political Discourse

As our interactions with social media and messaging apps become more and more pervasive, does our data remain private or can it be used by algorithms to tailor and manipulate our online experience?

Data Societies 2020: Demanding Accountability and Transparency from the State

A series of panel discussions titled Data Societies, organised by Economic and Political Weekly and the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, was held in Mumbai on 7 February 2020. This article summarises a few key points from the second panel discussion.

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