Monday October 15, 2018
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Facebook Names Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as its New India Head

He is a graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

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In a bid to consolidate its presence in India amid calls to curb fake news and other sinister campaigns on social media platforms, Facebook on Monday announced to appoint Ajit Mohan, CEO of popular video streaming platform Hotstar, as Managing Director and Vice-President, Facebook India.

Set to begin his Facebook innings early next year, Mohan will be responsible for driving Facebook’s overall strategy and continued investment in India where it has over 270 million users — reporting directly to the Menlo Park (California)-based headquarter and not to the Asia Pacific team.

“Ajit’s depth of experience will help us to continue to have a positive impact in India across communities, organisations, businesses and with policy makers,” David Fischer, Vice-President of Business and Marketing Partnerships, Facebook Inc, said in a statement.

The post was lying vacant for almost a year when Umang Bedi resigned as Facebook India Managing Director in October last year. Bedi is now President of Dailyhunt, a local language news and entertainment aggregator.

Ajit will lead a senior leadership team in the country to intensify the company’s efforts to help people in India connect with the people and things they care about the most.

The job comes with a huge responsibility as a time when India is set for general elections next year and the government has taken a harsh stand on not allowing social media platforms to abuse India’s election process amid calls from various stakeholders for stringent measures backed by laws on data protection and individual privacy.

Facebook-Head
Ajit Mohan.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also launched a preliminary enquiry against the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica for alleged illegal harvesting of personal data of Indians from Facebook.

“I am delighted to take on the mantle of shaping Facebook’s charter in India. It is a unique opportunity to shape the agenda of a company that has brought the world closer together in one of the most exciting markets in the world,” said Mohan.

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An alumnus of McKinsey and Company’s New York office where he worked with media companies around the globe, Mohan launched and built Hotstar, Star India’s over-the-top (OTT) service, into India’s leading premium video streaming platform.

He is a graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I look forward to championing India in Facebook and working with stakeholders across the spectrum to help build deep and meaningful communities across the country,” said Mohan. (IANS)

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Twitter Gets Investigated By Ireland Over Data Collection

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages

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Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

 Twitter is reportedly facing an investigation by privacy regulators in Ireland over data collection in its link-shortening system, the media reported.

Privacy regulators in Ireland have launched an investigation into exactly how much data Twitter collects from t.co, its URL-shortening system, The Verge reported late on Saturday.

The investigation stems from a request made by UK professor Michael Veale under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a comprehensive European privacy law under which EU citizens have a right to request any data collected on them from a given company.

Facebook, Twitter
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, left, accompanied by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are sworn in before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’ on Capitol Hill. VOA

But when Veale made that request to Twitter, the company claimed it had no data from its link-shortening service. The professor was sceptical, and wrote to the relevant privacy regulator to see if Twitter was holding back some of his data.

Now, that investigation seems to be underway. The investigation, first reported by Fortune, is confirmed in a letter obtained by The Verge, sent to Veale by the office of the Irish Data Privacy Commissioner, the report said.

Initially designed as a way to save characters in the limited space of a tweet, link-shortening has also proved to be an effective tool at fighting malware and gathering rudimentary analytics.

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Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

Those analytics services can also present a significant privacy risk when used in private messages.

Also Read: Facebook Tackles Fake News, Deletes Almost 800 Accounts

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages, although no wrong-doing was conclusively established in either case. (IANS)

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