While the concept of consent, in consonance with the current consent based regime under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“IT Act”) as well as the constitutional primacy of consent and autonomy under various court decisions dealing with the right to information privacy has remained firmly entrenched as the primary basis for collection and processing of personal data under the various drafts of general personal data protection legislation in India over the years, the newly notified Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 (“Act”)also provides for “legitimate use” as key additional basis available to Data Fiduciaries for collection and processing of personal data.Continue Reading Of Consent and Lawful Uses:Where the Rubber meets the Road
Maharashtra was one of the first states in India to devise an Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services Policy in 1998. Thereafter, the policy was amended in 2003, 2009 and 2015. The Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services Policy of Maharashtra State-2023 (“2023 Policy”) was introduced by the Government of Maharashtra vide its resolution dated June 27, 2023 and it superseded Maharashtra’s IT and ITES Policy of 2015 (“2015 Policy”). The 2023 Policy aims to make the State of Maharashtra a global Information Technology (“IT”) and Information Technology Enabled Services (“ITES”) destination and the technology capital of India. The 2023 Policy is valid for a period of five years from June 27, 2023 or until a new policy is released.Continue Reading KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF MAHARASHTRA IT-ITES POLICY, 2023: IT/ITES UNITS, IITTS AND DATA CENTERS
Moonlighting is the colloquial term used to refer to the practice of employees working a second job, in addition to their primary job. The last few weeks saw myriad news reports on this practice in start-ups and the IT/ITES industry. Most companies have released statements opposing the practice and some have even taken action against moonlighting employees. Some companies have, however, indicated that they are open to allowing employees to moonlight within a defined framework.Continue Reading Moonlighting – Legal Considerations and Contractual Regulation
The recent Master Directions issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Credit cards and Debit cards – Issuance and Conduct Directions, 2022, dated April 21, 2022, is a consolidation of existing guidelines on the subject, except that it has brought about greater clarity by providing definitions on what is a credit card, credit limit and other related terminologies. In addition, it has spelt out more explicitly the scope of co-branding arrangements and the roles of card issuers and co-branding partners.Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 12: Series-1) RBI Master Directions on Credit and Debit Cards
The metaverse and its use-cases
There are many ways to describe the ‘metaverse’: a post-reality universe that allows several users to participate in a shared virtual environment, an immersive 3-D extension of the internet itself, or even as the next frontier of the digital economy. In due course, the metaverse may align itself with its initial usage, as described in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, as a vast digital environment where users could interact with each other. While the Metaverse may escape the contours of a universally accepted definition (for some time at least), it will, by present trends, continue to capture popular culture, imagination and increasingly, various aspects of life. As early as 2005, the metaverse had begun to be considered as something more than simply being centered around MMORPGs (or massively multiplayer online role-playing games). Today, the Indian market already bears witness to the proliferation of augmented reality, virtual reality, and elements of the ‘metaverse’ across several B2B, B2C and C2C applications. Indian tech firms and start-ups have been quick to respond.Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 11: Series-1) Into the Metaverse: Legal and regulatory considerations in India
The modern genesis of vicariously attributing culpability to a creator or administrator of a WhatsApp group for offensive, defamatory or objectionable content posted by a group member can be found in the recent decision of the High Court of Kerala on February 23, 2022, in the matter of Manual versus State of Kerala and another. The High Court of Kerala has largely followed the bright line laid down by the High Court of Bombay, the High Court of Delhi and the High Court of Madras in their previous decisions on this subject. As a rule, most common law jurisdictions have traditionally applied vicarious liability by employing the common law doctrine of respondent superior. It is noteworthy that superior courts have also authoritatively held in successive judgments that vicarious criminal liability can be attributed only if a penal provision of such nature is specifically provided in the underlying statute.Continue Reading Can the admin of a WhatsApp group be held vicariously liable for an objectionable post by a group member?
From their abrupt promulgation to their unusual administration by two ministries, to being the subject of widespread protests, and the staying of several operative portions by courts, 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
Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics
The global race to augment capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) is intensifying in both advanced and emerging economies. From optimising power generation and transmission, diagnosis and drug discovery, improving learning environment, enhancing design and functionality, to automation in logistics, AI will not only continue to evolve but possibly surpass human intelligence in the near future. Today’s digital age is overflowing with valuable data which if appropriately analyzed can predict results, making data analytics an indispensable tool for any corporate to sustain in the economy.
Continue Reading Tomorrow’s Technology in Today’s Infrastructure: Interplay of Data Analytics, AI and Infrastructure Investment
As businesses strive to shift from paper to digital, there is an increasing penetration of software products across industries. This is particularly true in India. The NASSCOM Report evinces that the software products market was the fastest-growing segment amongst all IT services in India in FY2019. While the making of software requires a considerable amount of human, technical, and financial resources; it can be copied within seconds, at infinitesimal cost. Thus, there is a need to protect software with the strongest available intellectual property protections. In India, the intellectual property regime provides a number of tools to protect such innovations. These include, patents and copyright. Each of these tools have their own set of peculiarities and will be discussed vis-à-vis protection of software, within the framework of cross-jurisdictional analysis.
Continue Reading Grooming the Law with Technology: Legal Protection of Software in India
Indian mythology suggests that playing and losing at a game of dice led to the Pandava brothers, their wife and mother being sent to exile. Regardless of this cautionary tale, the online gaming market in India has taken off in India with revenues reaching Rs. 43.8 billion in FY 18 and expected to grow to Rs. 118.8 billion by 2023.
The question of whether the state should permit businesses relating to betting and gambling was hotly debated in the Constituent Assembly Debates, with several members opposing constitutional sanction to betting and gambling activities. Members drew support for their argument from sources as varied as the apocryphal sufferings of the Pandavas to the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.
Notwithstanding their opposition, List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Indian Constitution places matters relating to betting and gambling within the legislative purview of state governments. This compromise allowed state governments to choose to either prohibit or regulate (and tax) activities relating to betting and gambling.
Continue Reading All In or Fold – The Legal Conundrum of Real Money Online Poker