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Showing posts from November, 2016

Personalization is against Privacy - but is it a threat to mankind's existence?

The Economist argues in this article how online services which provide for personalised services are breaching some age-old notions of privacy. Google mines the data it collects from users for two purposes. One is to improve the user experience, making its various online services more personal, useful and rewarding for the individual—and thereby increasing their popularity. The other purpose is to provide better targeted information for advertisers. That is fine for the vast majority of internet users, who are happy to trade a measure of privacy for the convenience. However, most people (though not all) stop short of blurting out more intimate details about their private lives. Even so, all those innocuous bits of self-revelation can be pieced together, jig-saw fashion, by intelligent algorithms. Throw in the digital paper-trails stashed in Google searches and Amazon purchases, and things can begin to get a little scary. The above is a foregone conclusion - we all are ignorin

Rupee Note & Coin Trivia

With withdrawal of ₹500 and ₹1000 Rupee notes , while we all post views regarding demonetization, here is an interesting trivia about currency in India. Currency notes are issued by the Reserve Bank of India but Coins are issued by the Government of India.   As a result. coins in possession of RBI are considered assets of RBI compared to Notes which are liabilities. And the distribution of Coins is undertaken by RBI only as an agent of the Government.  Another ramification of this is that when you hold a Currency Note, you merely hold the RBI Governor's promise to pay you, but when you hold a coin, you actually hold an asset just like Gold or equity.   Last, while you can use Re. 1 coins to pay any value i.e. if you had 1 crore coins, you could buy a house by using them, but Coins up to 50 paisa are called “small coins” and can only be used to pay up to a maximum value of Rs 10. So much for the 'chillar' (loose change) in our kiddie 'gullaks' (piggy bank)!

Are you sharing sensitive information over WhatsApp?

Note: This post of cross-posted from ; while I am a participant in the discussion quoted below, but sincere thanks are due to Uday Mittal for compiling this into a blog post and publishing online .  The other day I participated in an interesting discussion. The discussion took place in an information privacy forum comprised of professionals from various industries. The topic of discussion was Legal ramifications of sharing screenshots of a conversation held on messengers such as WhatsApp, Hike, Telegram etc. (We’ll take WhatsApp as an example). Point(s) of Discussion I initiated the discussion with the following questions: If an individual forwards a screenshot of a WhatsApp group conversation to another individual outside that group; will such sharing be considered: Invasion of privacy of the members of the WhatsApp group? Punishable against provision IT Act section 43 (unauthorized sharing of computer data) or 43A (sharing of personal information with