Quarterly Newsletter Issue #03
January-March, 2023
Dear Readers,

In this third edition of InnovTech@CUTS newsletter, we bring to you the vision of Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) that will unfold over the forthcoming year. CUTS has been involved in the discourse around G20 and its various engagement groups such as C20, B20, and T20. 

CUTS’ unique positioning as a consumer facing organisation and a global policy think-tank allows it to dive deeper in the issues of digital economy and its impact on the general populace. During this quarter, CUTS’ team participated actively in stakeholder consultations for various draft regulations. These include the recent online gaming related amendments to Intermediary Rules 2021, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s consultation paper on Introduction of Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) in Telecommunication Networks, among others. 

We are further working on issues related to consumer perspectives on Wi-Fi and their expectations on availability of Wi-Fi at new spectrum bands, such as the 6GHz band. We have also actively engaged in capacity-building and held cyber-security training sessions for MSMEs and women entrepreneurs while diving deep in our work on designing ethical frameworks 6G technology.

We hope our work will interest you. We look forward to your feedback and insights. 
Pradeep S Mehta
Secretary General
CUTS International
The Evolving Context and Dynamics of the WTO Joint Initiative on E-commerce
Yasmin Ismail
This report provides a state of play of the Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) on Electronic Commerce as of December 2022, focusing on developments in its fifth year, 2022, while situating it in the evolving e-commerce governance landscape at the national, regional, and multilateral levels.

At the national level, reports on increased policy activity related to e-commerce have warned against increased fragmentation. Regionally, Digital Economy Agreements emerged as more flexible arrangements that may be more suitable for capturing technological trends and innovations impacting e-commerce, such as artificial intelligence. At the multilateral level, and in the aftermath of COVID-19, bridging the digital divide became the core objective for discussions on reinvigorating the WTO Work Programme on Electronic Commerce.
More details are here.

In pursuit of modern governance and a regulatory framework
Amol Kulkarni
Communications Today, February 21, 2023

Cyber security: India must update digital infrastructure, legal framework
Krishaank Jugiani
Policy Circle, February 14, 2023

IT Rules changes need a careful relook
Pradeep S Mehta and Neelanjana Sharma
Financial Express, January 24, 2023
Should TRAI mandate caller ID?
Pradeep S Mehta
Financial Express, January 17, 2023
CUTS Open-letter to TRAI, Highlighting the Consumer Perspectives and Concerns
Shiksha Srivastava
CUTS CCIER, February 15, 2023 

  • Asheef Iqubbal, Vidushi Sinha and Krishaank Jugiani participated in the 5G Congress 2023 organised by ETTelecom in New Delhi on March 23-24, 2023.
  • Amol Kulkarni was one of the speakers at the Conference on Consumer Protection and Grievance Redress organised by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy in Dharamsala on February 10-11, 2023.
  • Neelanjana Sharma was one of the speakers at an event on ‘Impact of Draft Online Gaming Rules’ organised by MediaNama in New Delhi on January 13, 2023.
Exploring User Verification
New Delhi, March 23, 2023
CUTS International participated as a community partner in a Roundtable Discussion on ‘Exploring User Verification’ organised by MediaNama in New Delhi on March 23, 2023. The event discussed a possible framework for integrating proportionality in anonymity and verification – exploring a spectrum for how verification can be rolled out.

The objective was to identify - the room for anonymity (and understanding what role anonymity plays in privacy); the correlation (or lack thereof) between verification, identification and the prevention of harms, including spam and fraud; the effectiveness (or lack of) of existing verification norms such as Telecom KYC, CNAPs; a framework for gradation of identification, from anonymity to pseudonymity, verification and identification; technical challenges with verification, traceability and identification; and privacy risks of verification, traceability and identification.

More details are here.
Competition and Big Tech
New Delhi, March 21, 2023
An International Conference on ‘Competition and Big Tech’ was jointly organised by CUTS International, BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre, and CUTS Institute for Regulation & Competition (CIRC) with the support of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in New Delhi on March 21, 2023.

The conference brought together leading experts, policymakers, and stakeholders worldwide to discuss emerging issues related to competition law across the BRICS nations. The key issues addressed were anti-competitive practices in the automobile markets and industry 4.0, an ecological approach to competition law in the new economy, and ex-ante rules and competition law for the digital economy.

The event was graced by Jayant Sinha, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance; Jyoti Jindgar Bhanot, Secretary (I/c), CCI; Suresh Prabhu, Founding Chancellor of Rishihood University; Andrey Tsyganov, Deputy Head of Federal Antimonopoly Service, Russia; Tembinkosi Bonakele, Former Commissioner, South African Competition Commission; Payal Malik, Adviser (Economics Division), Competition Commission of India; Augustine Peter, Former Member CCI, and Founder and Head, APRLP LAW; Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International and Alexey Ivanov, Director, BRICS Competition Law & Policy Centre among other eminent experts.
CyberSafe East India: Workshop on Cyber Security for MSMEs and Women Entrepreneurs
Arunachal Pradesh, February 25, 2023
With growing digitalisation globally, more and more businesses are gradually shifting towards digital platform for doing business. On other hand, there has been a concomitant rise in Cyber-attacks through Malware, Phishing, Ransomware, etc.

With this in context, the U.S. Consulate General Kolkata and CUTS International, in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), and Arunachal Pradesh Micro & Small Industries Development Association, organised a daylong workshop in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, on February 25, 2023, for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The objective was to equip them with knowledge and hands-on training on how to identify and combat cybersecurity threats and become cyber-resilient.

Around 40-45 entrepreneurs, including women entrepreneurs, participated in the workshop. Hage Tari, Secretary, Industries Department, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, was the Chief Guest for the workshop; and Melinda Pavek, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General, Kolkata was the Guest of Honour.
More details are here.
The WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce: State of Play
February 07, 2023
This informal webinar was organised under the third phase of the UK Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+) WTO Umbrella Grant, jointly implemented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the CUTS International Geneva, and supported by the Government of the United Kingdom.

Following Chatham House rules, the webinar was attended by a group of Geneva-based developing countries' delegates. It gave them a status update on the dynamics and progress of the WTO Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) on e-commerce negotiations through an examination of the third revised draft of the consolidated negotiating text circulated by the co-conveners late last year.

Discussions then explored prospects of the negotiation process in 2023 and participants exchanged views on means to advance development interests and considerations in the negotiations.

Your Body, Our Data: Unfair and Unsafe Privacy Practices of Popular Fertility Apps
Katherine Kemp, UNSW Sydney

Artificial v. Real Intelligence
Australian Risk Policy Institute
Modeling User Characteristics Associated with Interdependent Privacy Perceptions on Social Media
Mary Jean Amon et al, ACM Digital Library

Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
LinkedIn LinkedIn
For any query and clarification, please write to: c-cier@cuts.org
Copyright © 2023 CUTS International, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS)
D–217, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur 302016, Rajasthan, India