Quarterly Newsletter Issue #01
July-September, 2022
Dear Readers,

We are delighted to present to you the first edition of InnovTech@CUTS, a quarterly newsletter by CUTS International.

Today's innovations using digital technologies not only provide massive economic opportunities but are also revolutionising how we engage with each other. Hence, these innovations are a step further in making the society inclusive. Many of these innovations have started in India such as the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). As the world gets transformed and challenged at the same time through such advances, we have been actively engaging and advocating for a more inclusive digital economy by working on aspects ranging from data privacy and fintech to e-commerce and telecom, among others.
This newsletter gives a peek into the initiatives from the previous quarter carried out by various global CUTS centres, including in India, Europe, Africa and the United States. Divided into four sections, it covers our research and advocacy initiatives along with events organised for larger public discourse on tech-policy and innovation. The last section gives a few recommended readings that readers might find interest in.

In the quarter of July-September 2022, we released four research reports. These include studies on policy and regulatory challenges for digital businesses and governance of non-personal data, among others. We also made submissions to governments on subjects like cybersecurity in Zambia and on telecom, intermediary liability and online gaming in India. Further, in Geneva, among other things, we highlighted the opportunities and challenges Industry 4.0 technologies present in Least Developed Countries at the World Trade Organisation Public Forum 2022.

We hope that readers will find our work interesting and useful for gaining newer insights on issues of the technology policy world. We wish you a very Happy Diwali and look forward to your generous feedback on our new initiative.
Pradeep S Mehta
Secretary General
CUTS International
[Un]Ease of Doing Digital Business: A Study of Policy and Regulatory Challenges in India
Neelanjana Sharma, Prince Gupta and Asheef Iqubbal
Ease of Doing Business in India has been picking pace with the government-led and industry sought initiatives of decriminalisation, reducing compliance burdens, development of public infrastructure, removing regulatory uncertainty etc. This study takes a deep dive into these initiatives among others, from the perspective of Ease of Doing Digital Business in India (EoDDB).
Read more about the project here. Access the report here.
Towards Effective Choice: A Nation-Wide Survey of Indian TV Consumers
Amol Kulkarni, Sidharth Narayan and Vidushi Sinha
TV as a mass medium of video content consumption has played a pivotal role in empowering its consumers with information, education and entertainment. While the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) must be lauded for its attempts to promote consumer interest in the growing TV channel market, it has posed risks of unintended adverse consequences for consumers. In this regard, findings from this nation-wide survey of over 10,000 TV consumers gauges consumer perception regarding certain set parameters of the TV channel market.
Read more about the project here. Access the report here.
Research-Based Advocacy on Unintended Lacunae of including aspects of NPD in the PDPB
Amol Kulkarni, Sidharth Narayan and Vidushi Sinha
The Joint Parliamentary Committee’s (JPC) Report on the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 (PDPB) recommended widening the scope of the PDPB to include aspects of non-personal data (NPD). However, the move was believed to be fraught with lacunas and posed unintended challenges/adverse consequences for stakeholders. This study brought forth a multi-stakeholder perspective on the concerns arising to ensure a whole-of-governments approach to data governance.
Read more about the project here. Access the report here.
Implementation of RBI’s Tokenisation Directive in Consumer Interest (Phase-II)
Amol Kulkarni, Sidharth Narayan and Vidushi Sinha
Digital transactions have risen manifold in the past few years. However, with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) circular on ‘Card Transactions: Permitting Card-on-File Tokenisation (CoFT) Services’, it was feared that this growth may be derailed. This tokenisation circular required merchants to purge consumers’ card details saved with them, and implement CoFT. In the absence of complete ecosystem readiness, this initiative highlighted that there may be several unintended adverse consequences on consumers.
Read more about the project here. Access the Briefing Paper here. Survey findings are available here.

Ensure consumer welfare during tokenisation
Pradeep S Mehta and Sidharth Narayan
Financial Express, September 24, 2022

Regulating Big Tech
Pradeep S Mehta and Prince Gupta
Financial Express, September 16, 2022

Our open network for digital commerce must win trust
Aparajita Srivastava (Ikigai Law) and Amol Kulkarni (CUTS)
Livemint, August 23, 2022
5G, Competitiveness, and Growth
Pradeep S Mehta and Prince Gupta
Financial Express, July 28, 2022
Building the Drone Ecosystem, and Creating Future-ready Jobs
Pradeep S Mehta and Tanya Goyal
The Economic Times, July 27, 2022
Extend SIM Card Registration To End Of Year- CUTS Ghana Urges Government

Citi News Room, July 26, 2021

Over-regulation over Online Gaming Industry must be Avoided
Neelanjana Sharma and Prince Gupta
The PageOne Asia, July 02, 2022

Why RBI should not enforce card tokenisation mandate
Pradeep S Mehta
The Economic Times, June 23, 2022

CUTS Submission to Zambia International and Communications Technology Authority on Call for Comments on the Review of the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act
CUTS Lusaka, September 13, 2022

CUTS Submission to Department of Telecommunication on New Legal Framework for Governing Telecommunication in India
Sidharth Narayan and Prince Gupta
CUTS CCIER, September 05, 2022

CUTS Submission to Government of Tamil Nadu on Online Gaming, 2022
Prince Gupta and Neelanjana Sharma
CUTS CCIER, August 10, 2022

CUTS Comments on Amendments to Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021
Sidharth Narayan, Neelanjana Sharma and Asheef Iqubbal
CUTS CCIER, July 14, 2022

CUTS Comments on National Data Governance Framework Policy 2022
Asheef Iqubbal and Prince Gupta
CUTS CCIER, June 20, 2022

Trustworthy Data Spaces: A Dialogue Between North and South
Yasmin Ismail
CUTS Geneva, September 29, 2022

Industry 4.0 Technologies and Value-Added Services: Opportunities and challenges for LDCs
CUTS Geneva, September 29, 2022

High-level panel: Leveraging Technology for an Inclusive Recovery
Tanishqua Kanetkar
CUTS Geneva, September 28, 2022

Shedding New Light on the Evolving Regulatory Framework for Digital Services Trade
Yasmin Ismail
CUTS Geneva, September 28, 2022

Cyber Security Capacity Building Workshops
With increasing digitisation worldwide, more and more businesses are gradually moving towards a digital platform to do business. On the other hand, cyber-attacks have increased in proportion in the past few years. Cyber-attacks like - malware, phishing, ransomware, identity theft attacks, etc have become commonplace. In this regard, with the support of the U.S. Consulate, Kolkata, CUTS International is planning to organise four cyber security capacity-building workshops for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Women Entrepreneurs in Darjeeling, Gangtok, Shillong and Itanagar in between November to February, 2022-23. In this initiative CUTS International will engage Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Patna, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India as knowledge partner. The initiative aims to equip the MSMEs and Women entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge of various forms of cyber security threats, available protection technologies, and good practices to help reduceing their vulnerability to cyber-attacks.
Identifying Elements of Ethical and Regulatory Framework for 6G and Creating Opportunities for India and Australia
August 17, 2022
CUTS organised the conference on August 17 in partnership with the Australian Risk Policy Institute (ARPI), and International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B). The conference, along with the inaugural session ‘Strengthening India-Australia Partnership on Cyber & Critical Technologies,’ included three technical sessions. The conference was organised under a project being supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade where India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) provided logo support.
Watch the recording here. More details are here.
Workshop for Women Journalists on Countering Misinformation & Disinformation in the Indo-Pacific Region
August 11-12, 2022
A Two-day media literacy workshop was organised by CUTS, supported by the U.S. Consulate, Kolkata on August 11-12, 2022 as a part of the ongoing initiative Support for Women Journalists on Countering Misinformation and Disinformation in the Indo-Pacific Region. This workshop was held in collaboration with South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) and East West Centre (EWC). Various sessions of this workshop focused on providing hands-on training to media-practitioners from various Indo- Pacific countries on fact-checking, responsible reporting and cultural sensitivity in representation, usage of modern technology like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in better portrayal of authentic information etc.. Besides that, the workshop also featured panel discussions on related topics with prominent media trainers from the USA, India and its neighbouring countries. The opening session of this workshop was graced by Melinda Pavek, U.S. Consulate General, Kolkata.
More details are here.
Optimal Governance of NPD 2.0
July 12, 2022
The now withdrawn Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 (PDPB) included aspects of non-personal data (NPD), which was believed to be fraught with many lacunas. CUTS organised a webinar on July 12 to launch its report titled ‘NPD2.0: Mapping the way forward for optimal governance of NPD’, in order to engage experts such as Ritesh Pandey, Member of Parliament, Ashish Aggarwal of Nasscom, Parminder Jeet Singh from IT for Change, Daniel Castro from Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Astha Kapoor from Aapti Institute and Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy from BSA The Software Alliance. The discussion was moderated by Amol Kulkarni of CUTS.

Watch the recording here. More details are here.

The Unease of Doing Digital Business in Digital India
July 07, 2022
Recent changes under the IT Act 2000 such as amendments to the IT Rules 2021 and directions by CERT-In have impacted the ease of doing digital business. The session saw interventions from Saurabh Garg, CEO, UIDAI. In the discussion moderated by Neelanjana Sharma of CUTS, Beni Chugh from Dvara Research, Nehaa Chaudhari from Ikigai Law and Zainab Bawa from Hasgeek how different factors like criminalising provisions, regulatory uncertainties, unnecessary compliance costs and inadequacy of digital infrastructure impact digital businesses in India.

Watch the recording here. More details are here.

India-U.S. Collaborations in Defence Industry, Technology, Innovation and Trade
June 30, 2022
A workshop was organised by CUTS on the prospects and challenges of India-U.S. collaboration in defence industry, technology, innovation and trade on June 30, 2022. This workshop was a part of the ongoing project Defense News Conclave: Stories of U.S.-India Defense Partnership, being supported by the U.S. Department of State (U.S. Consulate, Kolkata). The session saw expert interventions from Richard Rossow of CSIS, Washington, Col. KV Kuber of EY and Subimal Bhattacharjee, Independent Consultant, moderated by Sandhya Sharma of The Economic Times.
Watch the recording here. More details are here
'Power-Up’ to the Gamers: Empowering Consumers in the Online Gaming World
June 29, 2022
Amidst the ongoing debate within the government to identify a nodal ministry for online gaming, CUTS and Nishith Desai Associates (NDA) organised a webinar to deliberate upon the need for gamer protection. The session saw interventions from Rakesh Maheshwari from MeitY. Gowree Gokhale of NDA, Sameer Barde of E-Gaming Federation and Shivani Jha of eSports Players Welfare Association were panellists in the session moderated by Prince Gupta of CUTS.
Watch the recording here. More details are here.

Antitrust, Big Tech, and Democracy: A Research Agenda
Viktoria Robertson, The Antitrust Bulletin
Text Messaging Is Cool. But Where Are Its Boundaries?
The New York Times

Data Plans
Daniel Block, The Caravan

How can India become the next global innovation hub?
Karthikeyan Natarajan, Cyient

India could play the catalyst for tech innovation across the world
Debjani Ghosh, Livemint

Emerging technologies and the future of work in Africa

An independent, timely and accessible record of policy and regulatory changes affecting the digital economy
Digital Policy Alert