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Sunday, December 22, 2019

General Data Protection Regulation


Data has been the buzzword for ages now. Whichever industry you work in, or whatever your interests are, you will almost certainly come across the story about how data is changing the face of our world.

Good old days, there was a famous quote which was penned by a prolific English author stating "A pen is mightier than a sword". Looking at the feet achieved by the industry today, it wouldn't be incorrect if we rephrase it to say "Data is mightier than a sword". Data is what drives a study helping to cure a disease, boost a company's revenue, forecast a certain event or be responsible for those targeted ads you keep seeing.  Having said that, there is also a lot at stake when we use data to change to the world. Data is one of the most important assets a company has. For that reason alone, data protection should be a top priority for any company. The fact that data can be used in so many ways is what makes it such a dangerous tool. A single company may possess the personal information of millions of customers data that it needs to keep private so that customers' identities stay as safe and protected as possible. Data breaches happen inevitably. Information gets lost, stolen or otherwise released into the hands of people who were never intended to see it and those people often have malicious intent. As more of our data has become digitized, and we share more information online, data privacy is taking on greater importance. Data privacy relates to how a piece of information or data should be handled based on its relative importance. For instance, you likely wouldn't mind sharing your name with a stranger in the process of introducing yourself, but there's other information you wouldn't share, at least not until you become more acquainted with that person.

This is where the European Union has stepped in and made a momentous decision of introducing a new data privacy law which can be termed as a game-changer. This new law is known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The law was enforced across all EU member states on 25th May 2018, which turns out to be a landmark in the European privacy framework. It will apply to all companies selling to and storing personal data about citizens. According to the GDPR directive, personal data is any information related to a person such as a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, and updates on social networking websites, location details, medical information, cookies, digital footprints or a computer IP address.

General Data Protection Regulation

Before GDPR was enforced, the previous data protection rules across Europe were first created during the 1990s and had struggled to keep pace with rapid technological changes. GDPR alters how businesses and public sector organizations can handle the information of their customers. It also boosts the rights of individuals and gives them more control over their information. The goal of the new legislation is to give EU citizens more control over when and how their personal data is used by online entities, but it also has the far-reaching effect of requiring all websites, no matter where they are based, to take a tougher stand on managing the privacy and safety of users' personal data. The GDPR's stated mission is to help EU citizens protect their online data. 

The GDPR does not prohibit sites from collecting and using visitor data, but it does require them to give users clear and explicit control over how they do so. Until the GDPR took effect, many sites relied on "assumed consent," that is, by the act of using the site in any way, you were consenting to allow the site to store and use your personal data for its own purposes. Now, websites that collect any of these kinds of data need to get users' explicit consent via a positive opt-in, such as a checkbox, and to inform them clearly how their data will be used. 

GDPR Consent

The GDPR also clearly establishes users' rights to their own data. Along with clearly stating how, why, and where the site stores and uses data, websites must allow users to download the information the site is holding, and to request to have it deleted at any time. For example, if you had subscribed to a particular site's newsletter, but then closed your account, you must be able to have access to your information stored on the site and to ask the site to remove it as soon as possible.

Moreover, the penalties for non-compliance with the GDPR can be stiff. First-time violators receive a warning. After that comes a reprimand. If problems aren't addressed, the site is suspended from all its data processing activities. And if that isn't enough, stiff fines are imposed which amount up to 4 percent of a company's annual global revenue, or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater.

The provisions of the GDPR have website owners around the world worried and because there are so many different ways in which information is exchanged, it can be easy to miss a crucial step and fall into noncompliance. The whole digital marketing industry has been taken aback by this new regulation. The companies can no longer leverage the data as easily as they could earlier.  There are huge repercussions in terms of finance as well because Enterprise interest and investment in data privacy is driven by financial risks which are not just the regulatory fines, but the potential brand damage as well. 

Companies, therefore, need to do more as regards to transparency and more to demonstrate how they are acting ethically and responsibly with regard to their customers' data. But the question arises will the companies be able to cope up with the new regulations or will they succumb to the pressure. Well, let's leave it to the expert (TIME) to decide. 

Blog Written By: Debesh Prasad Das

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author's and not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DOT Club as a whole



What Do We Know, What Have We Learnt?

Global Positioning System (GPS): We all know about it, don't we? We use it to book a cab or to find a restaurant, to locate nearby Shopping Malls, Railway Station and what not. GPS makes our journey easier when we travel to an unknown place. Without it, we feel lost. But, do we ever try to know, how it works? Well, the answer is simple, it works through satellites. But, who owns those satellites? Well, it is owned by the US Government. India only has commercial access to it. 

Then, why doesn't India have its GPS??? 

This question was answered in 1999, just after the Kargil War. It was all during the Kargil War when India needed military access to US-owned GPS to locate enemy positions in hilly areas of Kargil and Dras, but the request was turned down as Pakistan was an ally of the US since Cold War(The present situation is different). So, India decided to build its Positioning System: Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS). 

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has an operational name of NAVIC (an acronym for NAVigation with Indian Constellation). 

NAVIC is a regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services covering India and a region extending up to 1,500 km around it. There are currently 7 working satellites in the system. 



In April 2010, it was reported that India plans to start launching satellites by the end of 2011, at a rate of one satellite every six months. This would have made NAVIC functional by 2015. But the program was delayed, and India also launched 3 new satellites to supplement this. 

Seven satellites with the prefix "IRNSS-1" constitute the IRNSS. IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven satellites, was launched on 1 July 2013. IRNSS-1B was launched on 4 April 2014 onboard PSLV-C24 rocket. The satellite has been placed in geosynchronous orbit. IRNSS-1C was launched on 16 October 2014, IRNSS- 1D on 28 March 2015, IRNSS-1E on 20 January 2016, IRNSS-1F on 10 March 2016 and IRNSS-1G was launched on 28 April 2016. 

In 2016, the Atomic Clock of IRNSS-1A failed. So, it had to be replaced. The eighth satellite, IRNSS-1H, which was meant to replace IRNSS-1A, failed to deploy on 31 August 2017 as the heat shield failed to separate from the 4th stage of the rocket.IRNSS-1I was launched on 11 April 2018 to replace it. 

Atomic Clock


NAVIC will service to all users with a position accuracy up to 5 m whereas The GPS, has a position accuracy of 20–30 m. Unlike GPS which is dependent only on L-band, NAVIC has dual frequency (S and L bands). Low-frequency signal when travels through the atmosphere, its velocity changes due to atmospheric disturbances. So the US has developed an atmospheric model to assess frequency error and it has to update this model from time to time to assess the exact error. In NAVIC, the actual delay is assessed by measuring the difference in delay of dual frequency (S and L bands). Therefore, NavIC is not dependent on any model to find the frequency error and is more accurate than GPS.

Some applications of IRNSS are:

  • Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation 
  • Disaster Management 
  • Vehicle tracking and fleet management 
  • Integration with mobile phones 
  • Mapping and Geodetic data capture 
  • Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travelers 
  • Visual and voice navigation for drivers 

Current Scenario: 

The global wireless communications standards body 3GPP has accepted the interface specifications of NavIC. With this permission, NaVIC can be integrated into devices like smartphones and tablets. The announcement gives a big boost to India's mobile telecom industry while also encouraging the use of NavIC throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Smartphones and cellular internet-of-things (IoT) devices that use location information will begin to use the NavIC system in contrast to the current usage of the American GPS. This will bring NavIC technology to the mass market for use in 4G, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT).

It also means that Indian companies and startups have an opportunity to design ICs and products based on NavIC. The potential market for these chipsets and products can be large as it can be exported to other countries as well. This will produce a significant increase in NavIC usage and the uptake of NavIC enabled services and applications throughout India.

Qualcomm – ISRO Collaboration: 

In a bid to improve location services in the region, Qualcomm has officially announced support for IRNSS in select chipsets across the company's upcoming portfolio. This initiative, which was undertaken in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization.

The collaboration successfully conducted its first-ever NavIC demonstration using the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform in September 2019.

According to Qualcomm, support for NavIC will be made available in select Qualcomm Technologies' chipset platforms starting November 2019, with commercial devices expected to hit the market in the first half of 2020. Upcoming Snapdragon 7-series and 6-series chipsets are also expected to come to NavIC.

Blog Written By: Rajesh Pattanaik

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author's and not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DOT Club as a whole