Social media firms may be accountable for ‘tailored content’ algorithms

Govt working to include proposal in Digital India Act

Social Media
India will be among the first few nations to mandate legal oversight of these proprietary codes. Photo Unsplash

Internet and social media firms may be held accountable for the algorithms they deploy to tailored content based on the specific browsing history and profile of users if a government proposal comes through, the Economic Times reported, quoting sources.

India will be among the first few nations to mandate legal oversight of the social media proprietary codes if the proposal is included in the forthcoming Digital India Act (DIA), the newspaper said. The DIA will replace the IT Act 2000.

“The idea is to prevent misuse of Indian citizens’ data. Even if the data is stored in India, it can be misused by highly advanced algorithms. That must be prevented,” the Economic Times quoted a senior government official as saying.

Social media tech giants such as Meta, Google and Twitter may be asked to disclose the methods by which they process personal data in specific cases. Such requests will have to be backed by law enforcement agencies through court orders. The big tech deals in large volumes of personal data every day.

India’s DIA is based on the drafts of the Telecom Bill and the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill. The draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022 released recently proposes a penalty of up to Rs 500 crore for violating its provisions, including breach of personal data.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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