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No nod to WhatsApp to go live on full scale UPI ops: RBI

WhatsApp had already informed the top court that it would not roll out its payment service without full compliance with the norms.

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WhatsApp UPI Payment

New Delhi, July 31 : The RBI has told the Supreme Court it has not granted permission to WhatsApp to go live for full scale operations on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment system.

The central bank, in its counter-affidavit, said: “Reserve Bank had examined the said reports and the responses of the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and was concerned that WhatsApp was storing some payment data elements outside India beyond the permitted timelines indicated in the circular and the Frequently Asked Questions on ‘Storage of Payment System Data’ issued by RBI on June 26, 2019.”

“It is specifically denied that the RBI has granted permission to WhatsApp to go live for full scale operations on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment system.”

The RBI also denied that its circular on April 6, 2018 on “Storage of Payment System Data” has been toned down by FAQs issued on June 26, 2019. “It is submitted that Payment System Operators (PSOs) had sought clarification on certain implementation issues, from time to time, from Reserve Bank and the FAQs are intended to provide clarity on those issues to facilitate and ensure expeditious compliance by all PSOs,” said the affidavit.

The RBI acknowledged that the NPCI had communicated to it the System Audit Report and the Post Change Review Report sent to it by WhatsApp, which touched upon the details concerning storage of payment system data. The RBI said that accordingly, by letter dated November 1, 2019, the NPCI was advised to ensure that the payment data elements, as referred to therein, are not stored by WhatsApp outside India beyond permitted timelines.

In addition, the NPCI was advised to ensure that WhatsApp does not store any of the payment transaction data elements in hashed/de-identified/encrypted form in its systems outside India. “The NPCI was also advised not to permit WhatsApp to go live for full scale operations on the UPI payment system, till the time they are fully compliant,” said the RBI.

Subsequently, the NPCI had, through its letter dated January 7, said that they had received a letter from WhatsApp agreeing to complete all the pending issues by May 31, and requesting permission to go live.

The NPCI had then requested RBI’s approval to grant final ‘go-live’ to WhatsApp on UPI, subject “to (a) the third-party audit report confirming closure of the committed 2 items, and (b) acceptable VA/config reports from third party auditor”.

WhatsApp had already informed the top court that it would not roll out its payment service without full compliance with the norms.

The RBI’s response came on an application filed by the Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change, through advocate Virag Gupta, seeking a complete stoppage of the trials being conducted by WhatsApp Pay, alleging that the company has continued beta testing on its payments system on 1 million users in violation of data localisation norms in India.

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Lava launches budget smartphone for Rs 7,777

The smartphone sports a dual rear camera setup of 13MP + 5MP with LED flash and a13MP selfie camera with screen flash.

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Lava Z66 Mobile

New Delhi, Aug 4 : Domestic mobile manufacturer Lava on Tuesday launched a new smartphone Z66 as the latest addition in its Z series for Rs 7,777.

Lava Z66 features a 6.08-inch HD+ notch display with a 2.5D curved screen and 19:9 aspect ratio. The device is powered with a 1.6 GHz octa-core processor with 3GB RAM and a storage capacity of 32GB (expandable up to 128GB).

The smartphone is currently available at offline stores and will soon be available on Amazon and Flipkart in three colour variants – marine blue, berry red and midnight blue, the company said in a statement.

“This beautiful device not only lets you click the most stunning pictures but also delivers a power-packed all-round performance,” Tejinder Singh, Head- Product, Lava International said in a statement.

The smartphone sports a dual rear camera setup of 13MP + 5MP with LED flash and a13MP selfie camera with screen flash.

The camera also comes with features like beauty mode, night mode, HDR mode, burst mode, panorama, time lapse and slow motion, along with filters.

The device houses a 3950mAh battery and runs stock Android OS (Android 10).

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New Google Chrome extension brings more ad transparency

Named Ads Transparency Spotlight, the early version of the extension is available on the official Chrome Web Store, ZDNet reported on Sunday.

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Google-wefornews

San Francisco, Aug 3 : As part of its efforts to give people more visibility into the data used to personalise ads, Google has launched a new Chrome extension that lists all companies and services with a presence on the page including content delivery networks or analytics providers.

The extension includes the criteria used to show ads, the ad tech companies helping to display these ads, and the ad platform companies serving these ads on a web page.

Named Ads Transparency Spotlight, the early version of the extension is available on the official Chrome Web Store, ZDNet reported on Sunday.

At the time of release, it only shows information about those ads purchased through Google Ads that have implemented the Ad Disclosure Schema, a uniform system for advertisers to disclose how their ads work.

As others implement this schema, these ads will also appear in the extension.

“Over time, we hope the industry will incorporate the Ad Disclosure Schema into their ads,” Google said.

Google said it released the extension to provide a tool for transparency into the criteria being used to show ads.

“Our ultimate goal is to support a more transparent ad ecosystem globally,” the company added.

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TikTok parent to shift HQ from Beijing to London: Report

Earlier reports suggested that the talks were halted after the US President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the country over security concerns.

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Tik Tok

London, Aug 3 : Chinese unicorn ByteDance which owns the popular short video-sharing app TikTok has received approval from the British government to move its headquarters from Beijing to London, The Sun newspaper reported.

A formal announcement from ByteDance’s founders on setting up shop in London is expected soon, said the report on Sunday. While there is no official word on the deal yet, the newspaper said that the deal could see ByteDance’s founder Zhang Yiming and TikTok’s creator Alex Zhu relocating to London.

Last month, The Sunday Times reported that after months of negotiations with the UK’s Department for International Trade and government officials, ByteDance halted the talks about opening a global headquarters in London due to the “wider geopolitical context”.

That report that cited a source came barely a week after the UK government announced a ban on the purchase of new Huawei kits for 5G from next year and said that the Chinese telecom giant’s equipment will be completely removed from 5G networks by the end of 2027.

However, The Sun newspaper report said that the ministers in the British government have found it “absurd” to say no to a big company wanting to come to Britain.

The news comes amid Microsoft’s discussions with ByteDance to purchase TikTok’s operations in the US.

Earlier reports suggested that the talks were halted after the US President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the country over security concerns.

TikTok has faced allegations that it could share user data with the Chinese government. The company has denied such allegations.

Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and the US President, Microsoft said it was prepared to continue talks to explore purchase of TikTok in the US.

Microsoft hopes to complete the discussion by September 15.

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