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Personal Data Protection Bill Makes Headway In India

In India, the Personal Data Protection Bill is making headway.

The legislation, which seeks to protect sensitive data, has gotten approval from the union cabinet that is helmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The site Inc42 reported that the bill will be introduced to the Parliament during the winter session. The draft version, which was introduced last year by committee, had defined personal data as any data that might promote direct or indirect identifiability. That can include financial data, information on gender, government identifiers and biometric data.

Beyond the bill’s initial introduction, there was a secondary round of consultations on the legislation in August of this year. Commentary had suggested that, per the site, “all legal bases” for collecting, using and disclosing the personal data should be treated “equally,” instead of just using consent as the primary basis for processing data.

The government had also proposed that “data localization” should apply to personal data, where a copy of all data used would be kept on a server located within India.

Battling Fake News in Japan

In Japan, a government panel has a proposal in place that would create joint public and private efforts to combat fake news. As reported by The Japan Times, the efforts would come through the government and social media companies. Among those firms invited to join will be Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and others.

The panel was created by the internal affairs ministry.

A final report is slated to debut at the beginning of next year, and would reportedly promote the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies to address complaints of fake news.

Taxes Too, of Course

This past week saw a continued debate, too, over digital taxes. And though the Trump administration has said the U.S. should be the nation that, in the words of President Trump, “takes advantage” of U.S. companies when it comes to digital activities, the U.K. is moving ahead with its own plan.

As reported by CNN.com, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that a new 2 percent tax will apply to sales of digital services in the U.K. beginning in April of 2020. France, of course, has its own tax from this year, equating to 3 percent on revenues from companies that earn more than 25 million euros in France or at least 750 million euros globally.

“On the digital services tax, I do think we need to look at the operation of the big digital companies and the huge revenues they have in this country and the amount of tax that they pay,” Johnson said earlier in the week while on an election campaign stop in Salisbury, England, as reported by CNN. “They need to make a fairer contribution.”

The U.K. tax will reportedly apply to companies that see top lines of at least $640 million USD equivalent.

The moves come as The Fair Tax Mark, billed as a tax transparency campaign group, has said that firms such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix have avoided as much as $100 billion in global tax through the past decade.

Looking at Credit

A bit closer to home, and beyond far-flung initiatives on digital revenue taxes and data privacy, news came this week that federal banking regulators have supported using “alternative” methods in the continuing bid to assess creditworthiness and help higher-risk individuals get loans.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, lenders would look at alternative data such as cash flow. The data compiled by FinRegLab shows that as many as 60 million people do not have the payments credit history needed to create what might be seen as reliable credit scores. As noted in this space, the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) said in a joint statement that lenders using alternative data must certify that consumer protection pitfalls “are understood and addressed.”

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