Thursday February 20, 2020
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Will enquire into Facebook demanding users’ Aadhaar details: Minister

The Minister said that he will inquire about the claims and very soon the government will bring data protection law.

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Facebook has over 217 million monthly active users in India and 212 million of them are active on smartphones. Pixabay
Facebook has over 217 million monthly active users in India and 212 million of them are active on smartphones. Pixabay
Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said he will “get the entire facts” about social networking site Facebook reportedly demanding new users’ Aadhaar and revert to Parliament.
“I have also seen the news (about Facebook) in media. They have also given a reply that it was not mandatory. But I will get the entire facts on record before I revert to you,” Prasad told the Rajya Sabha in response to a supplementary question on cybersecurity and data protection.
The Minister also said that the government is going to bring very soon a data protection law.
It was reported a few days back that new users trying to sign up for Facebook were asked to enter their name “as per Aadhaar” records.
However, Facebook has already clarified that it was “not collecting” the Aadhaar data and was just running a “small test” to weed out fake accounts.
“There have been a number of reports about a small test we ran in India to help new users sign up for Facebook. Some have interpreted this test as a request for people’s Aadhaar information when you sign up for a Facebook account. This is not correct,” Facebook said in a blog post on Wednesday.
The government will be soon be introducing Data Protection law. Source: Aadhar Card Kendra
The government will be soon be introducing Data Protection law. Source: Aadhar Card Kendra
 “The test, which has now finished, merely includes additional language on the account sign-up page to explain that using their Aadhaar name will help family and friends recognise them.
“We are not collecting Aadhaar data and do not require people to enter their Aadhaar name when they sign up to Facebook,” it added.
Earlier, Prasad said that the government has no plans to make internet availability a fundamental right but the government is “committed to providing internet connectivity to its citizens”.
“As per a report from TRAI, as on June 2017, India has over 431.21 million internet users and with several million new internet users joining every month.
“This has resulted in more and more Indians coming online and using the internet, giving them the freedom to experience and use the internet in every aspect of their lives,” Prasad said in the reply.
“Our ‘Digital India’ programme envisions transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
“The pillars of Digital India programme namely Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity and Public Internet Access Programme address the issue of Internet availability in the country,” he added. IANS

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Facebook Funds India’s Fastest Growing Education Start-Up “Unacademy”

In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors

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"Facebook is an ally for India's economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it's rapidly rising Internet ecosystem," said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India. VOA

Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy.

“We thank General Atlantic and Facebook who have joined us in this journey and our existing investors who continue to be a part of the journey by supporting us. Our goal is to democratise education and become not just the largest educational organisation but the largest consumer Internet story out of India,” Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy, said in a statement.

Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital and Blume Ventures also participated in this round of funding, along with Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart and Sujeet Kumar, co-founder, Udaan, Unacademy said. “Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development, and we are excited about India and it’s rapidly rising Internet ecosystem,” said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India.

“With this investment in Unacademy, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India. We love that the company is fundamentally democratising education and driving innovation in new learning models,” Mohan said.

Unacademy
Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday joined others such as General Atlantic and Sequoia India for a fresh $110 million round of funding into one of India’s fastest growing education technology start-up Unacademy. Pixabay

The edtech start-up said that it would utilise the funding to further penetrate into the test preparation categories, launching more exam categories, acquiring top educators, and creating exceptional learning experiences for the learners through great content and product. In addition to raising the funding, Unacademy also provided exits to some of the angel investors.

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“Our goal from day one has been to democratise education and make quality education accessible to everyone. We do that by bringing the best educators and content on our platform and ensuring it is accessible to everyone across the country,” Munjal said. (IANS)