The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Facebook’s purchase of a 9.9% stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 43 574 crore (*a crore denotes ten million). This deal is expected to strengthen Facebook’s presence in India and reduce the debt of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).
Internet of Things (IoT) Alliance Australia and the Industrial Internet Consortium have published a white paper entitled, ‘How Digital Transformation and IoT Can Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’. The paper argues that the UN’s SDGs should be factored into IoT projects and other digital transformation initiatives (business-related changes that are triggered by digital technologies).
The paper outlines five pillars necessary for the successful digital transformation of an organisation: architecture and standards; security and privacy; shared value creation; organisational development; and ecosystem governance. These pillars are therefore essential for achieving the UN’s SDGs. The paper also provides examples of how the SDGs were unintentionally achieved by organisations that utilised digital technologies. For example, using health data in mining operations can help preserve the well-being of miners (SDG 3 – Good health and well-being); using sensor data and AI to minimise fuel consumption (SDG 13 – Climate action); and using smart farming to solve decreasing workforce (SDA 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure).
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand (OPCNZ) has announced, new amendments to the Privacy Bill. The new changes include: Notifiable privacy breaches; Compliance notices; Enforceable access directions; Disclosing information overseas; Extraterritorial effect; New criminal offences; and, Further changes. The updated Act will allow the Human Rights Review Tribunal to award up to AU$350 000 to each member of a class action.
The Privacy Bill has been passed by the Committee of the Whole House stage in Parliament on 3 June and will now undergo a third reading in Parliament before becoming the Privacy Act 2020, expected to come into effect on 1 December 2020.
In a report entitled, ‘Getting the Facts Right’, Brussels accused China and Russia of engaging in targeted disinformation campaigns around COVID-19. Last week, Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry rejected the accusations by saying that China is a victim of disinformation campaigns, not a fabricator. In turn, Vera Jourova, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of values and transparency, claimed, ‘We are clearly mentioning Russia and China and we have sufficient evidence to make such a declaration. It's very evidence-based.’
Thailand has approved a draft legislation that would impose 7% Value Added Tax (VAT) on foreign digital companies. All non-resident digital companies or platforms that earn more than 1.8 million Baht (US$57 434.59) per year on digital services in the country will have to pay a 7% VAT on sales. To become enforceable, the draft bill will have to be approved by the Thai parliament.
Last month, Indonesia passed a law requiring big Internet companies to pay VAT on the sales of digital products and services from July, and in the Philippines, a similar bill to tax digital services was introduced in parliament.
Japanese car maker Honda has confirmed that the company was hit by a cyber-attack which affected and disrupted their business in several countries. However, they stated that there was no breach of data and that the attack only caused ‘minimal business impact’.
Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, Vivian Balakrishnan, announced the government’s to plan to develop a portable and wearable contact tracing device to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the announcement, the device will replace the TraceTogether app, will be more inclusive, and will not require a smartphone. The minister explained that since the app does not work equally well across different smartphone operating systems, the government has decided not to make the download of the app mandatory, and to find other technological alternatives.
The Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) ruled that the decision of the Indonesian government to block Internet services in Papua and West Papua during protests in 2019 was ‘unlawful’. Between August and September 2019, the Indonesian government had on several occasions slowed down and shut down Internet access, and established Internet restrictions in West Papua and Papua in an effort to contain civil unrest.
The court said that any decision limiting people’s right to information needs to be made in accordance with the law and not merely at the government’s discretion. The court has ordered the Indonesian government to issue an apology to the public.