MoUs for algorithms and data for profit: 4 new MoUs signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and private corporations, including Jio and Cisco.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has recently signed 4 more Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements regarding the Agristack with Cisco, Ninjakart, ITC Limited, and Jio. In this post, we analyse these MoUs, and explain the issues that arise as a result.

Don’t penalise cybersecurity researchers!

We wrote to CERT-IN regarding their new Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure and Coordination Policy that penalises cybersecurity researchers for vulnerability disclosures. Such a policy would make researchers reluctant about reporting vulnerabilities and so a robust disclosure mechanism is needed.

IFF submits its comments on the Draft Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations

We have provided our comments on the Draft Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations 2021. In our comments, we recommended that Aadhaar authentication charges be scrapped and private entities be barred from acting as ‘requesting entities’ for authentication.

#PrivacyOfThePeople: Gig and app-based workers

In the latest post in our #PrivacyOfThePeople series, we look at the impact of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 on gig workers. We examine the minimal data rights provided to these workers by work agreements, how the PDPB would affect these conditions, and how these issues can be remedied.

TRAI’s final roadmap for connectivity and broadband access is a mixed bag #AccessToInternet

After multiple rounds of consultation, the TRAI released its final recommendations on the Roadmap to promote broadband connectivity and enhanced broadband speed. Some of the recommendations we had made during the consultations were reflected in the final report, albeit with certain modifications.

The case of the missing consultation response: Missing submissions to the Agristack consultations

Responses to our RTIs indicate that submissions from some organisations on the Agristack consultation paper were not received. Together with the AIKS, we wrote to the Agristack Working Group and the DACFW, re-submitting our suggestions and asking why they were not received in the first place.

Vaccines shouldn’t be compulsory for accessing rations!

Recently, a DC in Karnataka said that unvaccinated people would not receive PDS or pension entitlements. After significant public outcry, the decision was withdrawn. We wrote to the DC, appreciating the recall and asking him to ensure that vaccines aren't made mandatory for government benefits.

Hands off our VPNs! #SaveTheInternet

The Standing Committee on Home Affairs recently reiterated its stance that VPNs be permanently blocked. We wrote to the MHA, highlighting why VPNs are important and asking for the committee’s proposal to be put through a public consultation.

The E Shram Portal: An Explainer

On 26th August, 2021, the Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav launched the E-Shram portal. The portal will help unorganised workers receive social security benefits. We decided to create this explainer to help you understand what the portal is and what are the various issues facing the portal.

We wrote to the Department of Financial Services asking them to conduct a consultation on the E-Rupi programme

We wrote to the Department of Financial Services about the E-Rupi. We pointed out several issues such as surveillance and financial exploitation, the lack of data protection, and exclusion. We suggested that a consultation be conducted, and that data protection norms be specified.