Photo of Arun Prabhu

Partner in the General Corporate Practice at the Bengaluru office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Arun is part of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) group and has special expertise in advising clients in the electronics, information technology enabled services, outsourcing and information technology sectors. He was also a member of the Government of India’s working group on the legal enablement of information and communication technology systems.Arun was described as a “very effective and highly knowledgeable” lawyer by Chambers and Partners in 2011. He can be reached at arun.prabhu@cyrilshroff.com

Gaming Rules

Days after “online gaming” was formally brought under the purview of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MEITY”) through the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961[1], MEITY has proposed amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“2021 Rules”), to create a novel co-regulatory framework to govern the operations of online gaming intermediaries (“Draft Gaming Rules”). The Ministry has invited public comments on the Draft Gaming Rules till January 17, 2023.[2]

Continue Reading Draft Rules for Online Gaming: The Beginning of an Enabling Framework?

Data Protection Bill 2022

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MEITY”) has released a draft of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 (“The Bill”) for public consultations along with an explanatory note for each provision and the underlying principles that guide the drafting[1]. The public consultations are open till December 17, 2022[2].  This is Part II of our analysis on the Bill.  Click here to read Part I of this post

Continue Reading The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 – Part II

Data Protection Bill

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MEITY”) has released a draft of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 (“The Bill”) for public consultations along with an explanatory note for each provision and the underlying principles that guide the drafting[1]. The public consultations are open till December 17, 2022[2].

Continue Reading The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 – Part I

Telcom Bill

On September 21, 2022, the Department of Telecommunications (“DoT”) at the Ministry of Communications, Government of India (“Government”), proposed to replace the existing legislation governing telecommunications in India, namely, Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950 (collectively, “Telegraph Laws”), with the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 (“Draft Bill”).[1]

Continue Reading The Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022: A Work in Progress

The RBI’s Digital Lending Recommendations A Sign of the Road Ahead

The journey to a new general data protection law in India is more than a decade long and has seen several milestones ranging from the reports of Committees headed by Justice A.P. Shah[1], Justice B.N. Srikrishna[2], and a Joint Parliamentary Committee (“JPC”) to draft legislation in 2018[3], 2019 (“PDP Bill”)[4] and 2021 (“DPB”)[5].

While the recent withdrawal of the PDP Bill[6] is seen as a sign of a long and twisted road ahead, regulators in sectors such as banking, financial services and insurance have not had the luxury of taking the scenic route.

Continue Reading The RBI’s Digital Lending Recommendations: A Sign of the Road Ahead?

Of Gambling and Gaming

India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (“MIB”), on June 13, 2022, issued an advisory (“Gambling Advisory”)1 to the media, including newspapers, private satellite television channels and publishers of news and current affairs on digital media, which has been the subject of much discussion and reporting.

Continue Reading Of Gambling and Gaming: A Tale of two Advisories

The Cert-In Cyber Security Directions More Questions Than Answers

On April 28, 2022, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (“CERT-In”) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued extensive directions to service providers, intermediaries, companies, firms, and government organisations (collectively, “Entities”, and each an “Entity”) specifying various ‘cyber security directions’ that they are required to follow (“Directions”)[1].

Continue Reading The Cert-In Cyber Security Directions: More Questions Than Answers?

FAQs on the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 The Way Ahead

From their abrupt promulgation[1] to their unusual administration by two ministries[2], to being the subject of widespread protests, and the staying of several operative portions by courts[3], the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Rules”) have had a brief and tumultuous existence.

Continue Reading FAQs on the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021: The Way Ahead

Self Regulation - A Gamechanger for Online Fantasy Sport

Innovation and growth, particularly in new age industries and sunrise sectors, is never a uniform or predictable process. Every industry, in its nascent stages of growth, attracts certain players who enter with a long-term vision of sustainability and others who operate with a myopic vision of short-term gains, taking advantage of regulatory arbitrage.

While this creates the need to regulate these sectors, their complex and dynamic nature often require deep industry knowledge and flexibility, which makes conventional, top down, government regulations difficult. Historically, a robust, responsible, transparent, and representative self-regulatory regime has directed the navigation of various sectors in a responsible and consumer friendly manner. This self-regulatory model, for instance, has been implemented successfully across various sectors internationally, as an efficient means of developing best practices and codes and checking bad actors. Some of the examples are the Entertainment Software Rating Board in the United States, which assigns ratings to video games and apps to assist parents in making purchase decisions, the Japan Toy Association for safety marks on toys, the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission for consumer dispute resolution in New Zealand, the framework for mobile content and payment services between telecommunication companies in Denmark for mobile content and payment services and Confianza Online regulating ecommerce players in Spain.[1]
Continue Reading Self Regulation – A Gamechanger for Online Fantasy Sport

Consumer Protection E-Commerce Rules - Need for More Clarity Blog

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has, on July 23, 2020, notified the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“Rules”) under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (“Act”), with an intent to prevent unfair trade practices in e-commerce and protect interests and rights of consumers.

Scope and Applicability 

The Rules are intended to apply to (i) all goods and services bought or sold over digital or electronic networks, (ii) all models of e-commerce, and (iii) all formats of e-commerce retail, with the exception of natural persons transacting in their personal capacity (which is not part of any professional or commercial activity undertaken on a regular or systematic basis). In the absence of any guidance on what ‘regular or systematic basis’ means, a plain reading of this exclusion makes it very narrow.

The Rules govern e-commerce entities (“Platforms”), which own, operate, or manage, a digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce, and sellers of products and services.
Continue Reading Consumer Protection E-Commerce Rules: Need for More Clarity