Draft e-commerce policy soon, to be stricter on data norms and discount


The government is set to release the second draft of the proposed e-commerce policy soon, which would focus on domestic traders and have more scrutiny on predatory pricing, multiple people in the know said.

While no decision has been taken on the deadline for the final policy, sources said Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra is set to hold a review with his team in the next few days to take stock of the draft policy and submit it to the commerce minister.

Sources add that the is planning its own set of recommendations on data localisation and non-personal data, independent of those laid out in the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019. “Data localisation remains a big concern and despite there being broad government norms on the issue, it would have to be tailor fit for the e-commerce sector,” an official said.

Pricing — a prime complaint of domestic retailers — is set to be the focus, with the government considering an annual review of discounts given by e-marketplaces.

ALSO READ: E-commerce firms ready to comply on ‘country of origin’ after DPIIT meeting

Google tweaks privacy settings to keep less data on new users by default


is tweaking its settings to keep less data on new users by default.

The search giant said that starting Wednesday, it will automatically and continuously delete web and app activity and location history for new users after 18 months.

Settings for existing users won’t be affected but the company will send reminders about the feature.

The change comes after added new controls last year that allow users to effectively put an expiry date on their data, by providing the option to auto-delete location history, search, voice and YouTube activity data after three or 18 months.

The company is also making it easier to toggle in and out of incognito mode while using its Search, Maps and YouTube mobile apps by doing a long press on the profile photo. In incognito mode, doesn’t remember any activity during online browsing.

In another change, users will get easier access to their controls when doing Google searches. If they’re signed into their Google accounts and search for terms like Google Checkup,” they will see a box only visible to them with their and

S.Africa Says Economy To Shrink 7.2%, Deepest Slump In 90 Years


South Africa’s economy is projected to shrink by 7.2 percent in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the deepest slump in 90 years, the finance minister said Wednesday.

Presenting a supplementary budget in parliament, Tito Mboweni said the pandemic had pushed the country’s consolidated budget, including debt servicing costs, to a record of more than two trillion rand.

He compared public debt to a “hippopotamus… eating our children’s inheritance”.

South Africa has the highest recorded number of coronavirus infections in sub-Saharan Africa, with 106,108 cases, including 2,102 fatalities.

Its economy, the most developed in the continent, had already slipped into recession in the final quarter of 2019 before the virus arrived.

The pandemic prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to impose a strict lockdown, which kicked in on March 27 and has gradually been eased in phases since May 1 to allow economic activity to pick up.

The lockdown pushed the annual rate of inflation in April to a 15-year low of 3 percent, pulled down mainly by an 11.1-percent drop in fuel prices.

The country’s statistics agency announced on Tuesday that the unemployment rate rose one percentage point to 30.1 percent in the first quarter of this year compared

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