e-commerce platform Current Affairs - 2020

Police Use of Facial Recognition banned by Amazon

On June 11, 2020, the E-Commerce giant Amazon banned the use of its software “Rekognition” by the police. The software used to quickly compare a picture with the police data bases that holds hundreds of 1000s of photos.

Why the ban?

The facial recognition technology has been criticized over some time. This is mainly because, most of the algorithms of the Rekognition software are more likely to wrongly identify the faces of black people than those of white people.

Recognition

The Amazon Rekognition software was launched in 2016. It was sold and used by a number of US government agencies.

What is the controversy?

The Gender Identification technology of Rekognition software identifies faces as only male and female. There is no category for nonbinary gender. According to MIT researchers, the errors in the face recognition system is more. Though it is reducing year after year, the performance of the software on female faces were less accurate than that of male faces.

GOI: Draft New Industrial Policy and National E-Commerce Policy to be released soon

On March 18, 2020 the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced in the parliament that New Industrial Policy and National E-Commerce Policy are to be released soon. The policies are to be framed by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

New Industrial Policy

Previously NIP was launched in 1991. Since then the policy has not been updated. The 1991 NIP aimed at Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization. It also aimed to increase economic growth rate and also to build sufficient foreign exchange reserves. The policy also focused in international flow of goods and services in the country with several restrictions. The current government has been liberalizing these restrictions and has increased the ease of doing business with India. Hence India has reached to 63rd rank in World Bank’s recent Ease of Doing Business ranking.

The New Industrial Policy will be the third policy in Indian History after the policies that were released in 1956 and 1991. Both of those policies were prepared focusing on balance of payment crisis.

The draft NIP will focus on data protection, will subsume National Manufacturing policy and will promote foreign technology transfer. IT will also aim to attract 100 billion USD foreign investment annually.

National E-Commerce Policy

The Draft National E-Commerce Policy will focus on six broad areas namely infrastructure, data, e-commerce market places, export promotion, regulatory issues and stimulating domestic digital economy.