Centre for Internet & Society

Does Google’s bid to replace third party cookies with FLOCs protect user privacy?

by Maria Jawed

In its efforts to deprecate third-party cookies, Google, in August 2019, has brought an alternative plan with its new Privacy Sandbox platform. This plan promises to preserve anonymity when serving tailored advertising. While unveiling the system, Google explained that even though advertising is necessary to keep the web available to everyone, the web ecosystem is at risk if privacy policies do not keep pace with evolving expectations. But does this new framework help users in any way?

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Beyond Public Squares, Dumb Conduits, and Gatekeepers: The Need for a New Legal Metaphor for Social Media

by Amber Sinha

In the past few years, social networking sites have come to play a central role in intermediating the public’s access to and deliberation of information critical to a thriving democracy. In stark contrast to early utopian visions which imagined that the internet would create a more informed public, facilitate citizen-led engagement, and democratize media, what we see now is the growing association of social media platforms with political polarization and the entrenchment of racism, homophobia, and xenophobia.

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Regulating Sexist Online Harassment as a Form of Censorship

by Amber Sinha

This paper is part of a series under IT for Change’s project, Recognize, Resist, Remedy: Combating Sexist Hate Speech Online. The series, titled Rethinking Legal-Institutional Approaches to Sexist Hate Speech in India, aims to create a space for civil society actors to proactively engage in the remaking of online governance, bringing together inputs from legal scholars, practitioners, and activists. The papers reflect upon the issue of online sexism and misogyny, proposing recommendations for appropriate legal-institutional responses. The series is funded by EdelGive Foundation, India and International Development Research Centre, Canada.

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Comments and recommendations to the Guidelines for “Influencer Advertising on Digital Media”

by Torsha Sarkar and Shweta Mohandas

In February, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had issued draft rules for regulation of digital influencers, with an aim to "understand the peculiarities of [online] advertisements and the way consumers view them", as well as to ensure that: "consumers must be able to distinguish when something is being promoted with an intention to influence their opinion or behaviour for an immediate or eventual commercial gain". In lieu of this, we presented our responses.

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The Competition Law Case Against Whatsapp’s 2021 Privacy Policy Alteration

by Aman Nair and Arindrajit Basu

Having examined the privacy implications of Whatsapp's changes to its privacy policy in 2021, this issue brief is the second output in our series examining the effects of those changes. This brief examines the changes in the context of data sharing between Whatsapp and Facebook as being an anticompetitive action in violation of the Indian Competition Act, 2002.

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