In the wake of the massive Facebook data breach scandal and the subsequent Congressional Hearing, the founder of the social networking site Orkut, Orkut Buyukkokten, launched a new social network “hello” in India.
4 years after shutting down Orkut, which once was a leading social networking site in India and Brazil, Orkut Buyukkokten announced the early entry of the social networking platform into the Indian market. According to their website, the app was founded by Buyukkokten along with a small group of ex-Google employees. Currently, the team consists of 20 members.
Speaking about the new networking platform, Orkut Buyukkokten said, “If you look at social media today, it has isolated people instead of bringing them closer. It has become more about broadcasting than sharing. We need a fresh start. hello is built around interest based communities where users with same interests can connect, leading to true connections.” In an official statement, the San Francisco based Hello Network Inc., said “hello” aims to bring people together around their interests to create positive, meaningful, authentic connections and sustained social engagement.
The app was first launched in Brazil and already has nearly one million downloads. The company claims, the app launched in the beta mode in India saw close to 35,000 users with users spending close to 320 minutes each month on the app. “We designed ‘hello’ to help you make connections in the real world. It’s a social network built on loves not likes and I’m delighted to say‘hello’ to India once again,” Buyukkokten further added.
Clarifying hello’s monetization model, Buyukkokten said the company “does not have to sell user data to get revenues.” This is after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently revealed, nearly 5.62 lakh people in the country were “potentially affected” by its global data breach. Once users sign onto the platform, they are asked about five things that they are passionate about based on which they get recommendations that are non intrusive. Buyukkokten added, “We also ensure that every advertiser has a profile on hello (for greater accountability),” and no user information is shared with third party apps. The app ‘hello’ is available for download on the App Store and the Google Play Store.
Alibaba Cloud To Set Up Special Teams For Startups
Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of the well known Alibaba Group, is a cloud computing company. Alibaba Cloud provides products and services to clients in India across the e commerce, gaming, media, retail and IoT sectors via its network of distributors. Recently, Alex Li, General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Asia Pacific said Alibaba Cloud has always been dedicated to empower enterprises of different sizes to tap into opportunities in the digital age. With digital transformation poised to add close to $ 154 Bn to India’s GDP, this is a great opportunity for us to do business in India.
In January this year, the company set up its first India data centre in Mumbai. The aim was to fulfill the surging demand for cloud computing services which is among one of the fastest growing numbers of Indian small and medium sized businesses in the region. Alibaba Cloud said it will build specialised teams to focus on various market segments and sectors such as startups and online business. Alongside, it wants to strengthen its network as they plan to train 1,000 sales and technology personnel in India in the next six months. According to a study conducted by the International Data Corp (IDC,) with an estimated $ 2.12 billion spent on public cloud services, India currently ranks third on the list of countries who have turned towards cloud computing in the Asia Pacific excluding Japan.
With regards to Alibaba’s interest toward startups, earlier this year, Alibaba called for startups’ ideas in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI,) internet of things, digital services, augmented and virtual reality, big data and cyber security for the latest competition. Those startups who are interested can apply online at [email protected], but entrants need to generate less than $ 500,000 annual revenue. The startup must be registered in the UK, Ireland or Nordics in the last five years and it cannot be a publicly listed company. The most successful entrants will be shortlisted to compete against each other in the next round to be held on 5 September 2018. The top five will then be selected to battle against startups in Harbin, China later that month. The best four startups from these cities will then have the opportunity to pitch in front of investors at Alibaba Group’s HQ in October 2018.
India Gives Green Signal To Net Neutrality!
The country of millennials, India just made a big announcement regarding the latest rules of net neutrality. India wants to make sure they provide an open and fair internet for nearly half a billion people!
Here’s what is in store for the Internet in India!
India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approved net neutrality rules that bans blocking and zero rating of internet data. The framework of net neutrality which was published last year as a recommendation from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI,) was the culmination of years long campaign for net neutrality. However, they were seeking public opinions on potential changes to internet regulations since 2015. TRAI had recommended the implementation of neutral internet rules in 2017. Now, years later, the news of approval from the government of India comes to the headlines. The new rules by the DoT prevent any internet service provider (ISP) from blocking, throttling, slowing down or granting any special treatment to any content available on the internet. However, these rules do not apply to critical IoT services or specialized services including autonomous vehicles and remote surgery operations. According to sources, TRAI head R.S. Sharma said while comparing the rules to ambulances that can legally disobey traffic rules, or in this case, get prioritized status to maintain service quality. Speaking about the Internet service providers, they need to agree to the deal when they sign license agreements with the Department of Telecommunications. Those who violate the rules could have their licenses cancelled. Internet service providers cannot perform actions involving blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content!
Here’s what the official Twitter handle of TRAI posted!
With Telecom Commission’s endorsement of TRAI’s recommendations on #NetNeutrality, India takes an unambiguous stand on this issue.
– thread –
— TRAI (@TRAI) July 12, 2018
Internet access services should be governed by a principle that restricts any form of discrimination or interference in the treatment of content, the Indian regulations stated.
Facebook To Be Fined A Fortune Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal!
In 2017, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched an inquiry into voters’ data being obtained and used by political campaigns. This was following the Observer’s early investigative reports, into Cambridge Analytica, the political research firm. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have been under scrutiny, for harvesting the data of millions of Facebook users around the globe, with the total number of people affected now at 87 million. The social media giant Facebook will be fined $ 664,000 for failing to protect users’ information by the UK’s privacy watchdog. While a fine of $ 664,000 is the biggest possible punishment available to the ICO, it is the same amount of money Facebook makes in just a few minutes. At the time of the infraction, the law on processing data was set out under the Data Protection Act of 1998, which imposed a maximum penalty of £ 500,00. However, Under the new Data Protection Act 2018, companies can be fined up to 4 % of global turnover, a substantially more serious penalty. In Facebook’s case, a fine could be as high as $ 1.9 bn, based on its revenue.
Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner said she would penalize the social network platform as her office investigates how the data of millions of users was improperly accessed. Earlier, the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by the U.S., and the EU lawmakers over how Cambridge Analytica accessed the personal data of such a huge number of Facebook users. During the EU referendum, Facebook was found to be at fault for failing to be clear about how the information had been harvested by others. According to reports, Denham said Facebook has failed to provide the kinds of protections they’re required to do under data protection laws.
However, the penalty could change as the agency would discuss the matter further with Facebook. Generally, the ICO does not reveal its initial investigations but this time, it shared the details of the amount of the penalty because of the hyped public interest toward the scandal. Also, the agency would next give an update in October, this year.
Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, acknowledged in a statement Facebook should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015. Apart from this, the UK privacy watchdogs said the fallout from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal is only the beginning. The UK’s early efforts could inform ongoing investigations elsewhere in Europe as well as the United States, where a probe by the Federal Trade Commission could result in a penalty well into the hundreds of billions of dollars. The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission are also looking into Facebook’s ties to Cambridge Analytica.
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