Citizens' Issues
Mobile app launched to curb misleading ads
Lodging and tracking complaints against misleading advertisements has become easier courtesy a mobile app launched by the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), a statement said on Wednesday.
 
Pegged as India's first consumer complaint mobile app, the 'ASCIonline' app is currently available on Android and iOS platforms.
 
Narendra Ambwani, ASCI chairman, said the app will ease access for lodging complaints.
 
"Today, mobiles devices are more widely used compared to desktops. With growing use of smartphones, consumers want apps to put power of doing transactions in their pocket. 'ASCIonline Mobile App' is consumer friendly and can be freely downloaded," Ambwani said.
 
"It will be very useful as one can track the status of the complaints which he or she registered on our portal with the help of the app," he said.
 
The app enables consumers to lodge complaints by simply providing advertisement details and the objection to the particular ad.
 
Other features include checking history of previously registered complaints, tracking status of complaints, managing profile and push notifications. 
 
There is no need to log out or log in.

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M. T. Chiddarwar

1 year ago

IT HAS NOT BEEN MADE AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE STORE

Renowned architect Charles Correa is no more
Charles Correa, known for his contribution to modern architecture and urban planning in India, passed away on Tuesday in Mumbai 
 
Charles Correa, arguably India's greatest contemporary architect, passed away on Tuesday night in Mumbai following a brief illness. He was 84. 
 
He was responsible for designing many landmark buildings, starting with the Gandhi Memorial at Sabarmati, when he was only 28. Other notable structures include Bharat Bhavan and Vidhan Bhavan in Bhopal, the Permanent Mission of India at the UN, New York, Kala Academy in Goa and the Kanchanjunga residential tower in Mumbai. Correa's great works include Navi Mumbai -- the city across Mumbai's harbour. 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condoled the death of well-known architect Charles Correa. "My deepest condolences on the passing away of the noted architect, Mr Charles Correa. May his soul rest in peace," the PM tweeted.
 
An expert on urban planning, Correa was appointed the first chairman of the National Commission on Urbanisation. A proponent of 'open-to-skies' spaces, the renowned architect liked using local techniques and aesthetics in his buildings. He didn't like what was happening to Mumbai's landscape and skyline, and was at the forefront of an intense debate over the shape and form the city should take.
 
Two works in Kerala of renowned architect Charles Correa will remain immortal. Visitors to Kovalam cherish the memories of the beach and enjoy the breathtaking view of the 183-room Leela Kovalam, a five-star hotel that's perched on a peak overlooking the sea. Correa had designed the hotel, which was originally built for the India Tourism Development Corp (ITDC) during 1969-74 and is an architectural marvel till date. 
 
The second hugely popular architecture designed by Correa is the Parumala Church located near Thiruvalla about 120 km from Thiruvananthapuram belongs to the Malankara Orthodox Church, that was completed in the year 2000. This church seating more than 2,000 worshippers reflects the history, tradition and culture of a conventional Indian church. The church is circular in design and has an inner diameter of 39 meters. 
 
Correa had received numerous prestigious national and international awards.
 

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9 consumer privacy groups walk out to protest US facial-recognition policies
The 16-month-long series of meetings NITA, tech-company trade associations and various consumer- and privacy-protection groups completely broke down last week
 
Nine privacy and consumer groups walked out of the talks held by National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NITA) because, they did not believe that the NTIA process is likely to yield a set of privacy rules that offers adequate protections for the use of facial-recognition technology, says ConsumerAffairs.com in a report.
 
According to ConsumerAffairs.com, a consumer news and advocacy organization founded in 1998 by James R Hood, the NITA, a division of the Commerce Department, has hosted talks with tech-company trade associations as well as various consumer- and privacy-protection groups in hope of developing a set of guidelines tech companies could follow to protect consumers' privacy when the companies use facial recognition technology. However, the efforts have gone badly with nine privacy and consumer groups walked out from the 16-month-long series of meetings.
 
A joint statement from American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Federation of America and a half-dozen other organisations says, “At a base minimum, people should be able to walk down a public street without fear that companies they’ve never heard of are tracking their every movement — and identifying them by name – using facial recognition technology. Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain agreement even with that basic, specific premise.”
 
Facial-recognition technology, a form of biometric data collection, has concerned privacy advocates for years. In summer 2011, for example, privacy groups raised an outcry after Facebook started using facial-recognition technology to make it easier for users to “tag” (identify) people in photographs they posted. At that time, the FBI was already compiling (.pdf) a nationwide facial recognition service, the Next Generation Identification (or NGI) program, currently estimated to hold at least 51 million photographs in its database, with more added every day, the report says.
 
However, ConsumerAffairs.com, says, the NTIA’s meeting with trade groups and consumer-privacy organizations focused on the biometric data collection activities of private companies rather than government organizations. NTIA held its first meeting in February 2014 and has hosted 12 meetings to date. None of those meetings went particularly well (at least from a pro-consumer privacy perspective) but, as the Washington Post reports, the final straw landed during last Thursday's meeting, it added.
 
During the meeting, Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of Georgetown University's Center on Privacy and Law, asked if companies could agree to making opt-in for facial recognition technology the default for when identifying people - meaning that if companies wanted to use someone's face to name them, the person would have to agree to it. No companies or trade associations would commit to that, according to multiple attendees at the meeting.
 
Then Justin Brookman, director of the Center for Democracy & Technology's consumer privacy project, asked if companies would agree to a concrete scenario: What if a company set up a camera on a public street and surreptitiously used it identify people by name? Could companies agree to opt-in consent there? Again, no companies would commit, according to several attendees, the report added.
 
Quoting the Center for Digital Democracy, the report from ConsumerAffairs.com said that “the approach the Administration embraced to protect consumers’ rights to their personal information was flawed. It relied on the data collection and digital marketing industry to support significant new policies that would empower individuals to make decisions about how their information can be collected and used …. It never made sense to expect industry to turn away from business practices that reap billions of dollars.”
 
What is the scene about privacy and cyber protection in India? To understand the situation in India and concerns you can attend our seminar on 20th June titled How Cyber Fraud & Privacy Concerns Affect You.
 
 

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