Jaikishan Rajaraman, VP & Global Head of Technology at GSMA
User privacy has been at the forefront of debates over digital identity since their inception. The case of Aadhaar, the Indian government’s digital identity solution, has attracted particular attention in recent months. India’s Supreme Court ruled in August of last year that privacy is a fundamental right of Indian citizenship, reigniting legal and political debates over Aadhaar. Aadhaar has not been deemed a breach of privacy in itself; the case hinged rather on the security and confidentiality of the personal data the system relies on, and to what use that data may be put.
As India pursues its aim to bring about a largely cashless society, digital identity verification will play an increasingly central role in daily life there. What citizens buy, which publications they read, and where they travel will in time become a matter of record. Should transit by rail, for instance, come to require one’s Aadhaar number, the state will hold details on every train journey a citizen makes as a matter of course. With subscription to mobile networks in India already requiring verification via Aadhaar, the state would soon be able to link the travel and call records of every individual in the country. These implications have prompted debates across Indian society over proper safeguards on how that data can be used and secured.
Public trust in the solution was not helped by a recent exposé by investigative journalists. Earlier this month, Indian newspaper The Tribune reported that it had been able to gain access to private identity information belonging to Indian citizens enrolled in Aadhaar, by paying an official at the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) around $8. The official in question also provided, for a further $5, software necessary to print Aadhaar cards on entering the Aadhaar number of any individual – effectively enabling the reporters to clone the digital identity of almost anyone in India. Sanjay Jindal, Additional Director-General at the UIDAI Regional Centre in Chandigarh, has accepted that these events constitute “a major national security breach.” The story appears not to end there: the lead reporter working on the report claims she has so far revealed only “the tip of the iceberg” and that there is “much more to come”.
Public confidence in the solution has therefore inevitably been called into question. While the Indian government faces no easy task, in digitising personal identity in the world’s largest democracy, the bottom line is that consumer trust is vital to uptake and success. The mobile industry can help here. Mobile network operators have a natural interest in ensuring the privacy of their customers – it is on this relationship of trust that much of their commercial success depends. Where operators are in the driving seat of identity verification, they will naturally place privacy among their very highest priorities. With their range of authentication assets, such as the SIM card, strong registration processes, and multiple fraud detection and mitigation processes, mobile operators are uniquely well-positioned to help governments design and operate identity solutions – rather than merely providing them with the architecture via which to run them. And, as 2017 drew to a close, it had become increasingly clear that operators are collaborating to take the lead in digital identity worldwide, building their expertise in this vital component of connected commerce and civic life.
Operator-led identity solutions like Mobile Connect can offer a robust system of consent management: where for instance the present implementation of Aadhaar sees users merely receiving SMS notification when their data is accessed by an approved party, operators can offer a far more consumer-centric consent mechanism. By matching users with something they have on their person as a matter of course (their mobile phone), in conjunction with something they know (a PIN), and/or something they are (a biometric scan), Mobile Connect’s design precludes data breaches of the kind exposed by The Tribune. With rigorous transparency and granularity – for instance data availability on a per-transaction basis – operator-led solutions can act primarily as tools of the user, rather than simply a means of integrating that user into a system over which they have little recourse. Once users are confident in their level of control over their own data, legal and political roadblocks to connected citizenship can be increasingly removed – and rises in living standards can be realised for millions.
On a retro style milk truck, London entrepreneur chases a ‘zero waste’ future
By Natalie Thomas
LONDON (Reuters) – Heralded by the whirr of its underpowered electric engine and the clink of bottles stacked in crates on the back, Ella Shone’s ‘Topup Truck’ started life ferrying morning milk to the doorsteps of bleary-eyed Londoners.
Twenty years on, and the light vehicle known as a ‘milk float’ – once a ubiquitous sight on British streets – is enjoying a second career selling a range of goods and serving the 32-year-old’s quest to rid the city of single-use plastic.
“The fact that I’m driving around in a milk float does a lot for raising awareness in the local area,” said Shone, wearing a black beanie during her rounds in the borough of Hackney last week. “So now I’m operating at almost full capacity.”
Furloughed from her sales job during the coronavirus pandemic last spring, Shone used savings to start her new business, aiming to meet growing demand for household goods free of the plastic packaging used in supermarkets.
Customers book a visit from the ‘Topup Truck’ online and then purchase goods such as lentils, pasta, olive oil, shampoo or washing up liquid using their own containers.
From a low base a decade ago, the market for such unpackaged bulk goods could hit at least 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion) by 2030 in the European Union, according to a report https://zerowasteeurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020_06_30_zwe_pfs_executive_study.pdf by Zero Waste Europe, an anti-waste network.
While handling the logistics can be a challenge, Shone calculates that her service has eliminated the need for at least 12,700 pieces of plastic since it launched in August.
Planning a crowdfunder to retrofit her milk float to enable her to serve a greater range of products to more communities, Shone hopes her novel approach will inspire others to find creative ways to tackle waste.
“If we want to have real change, it has to be a collective effort,” she said.
($1 = 0.8218 euros)
(Writing by Matthew Green, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)
Lufthansa adds more summer holiday destinations in bet on recovery
BERLIN (Reuters) – Lufthansa is adding more holiday destinations to its summer flight schedule from Germany in anticipation of a strong rebound in bookings, it said on Thursday, betting COVID-19 vaccines and testing will soon make vacation travel possible.
Germany’s largest airline said it was planning to add around 20 new destinations from Frankfurt and 13 from Munich to locations such as the Caribbean, the Canary Islands and Greece.
COVID-19 vaccines and testing, along with strict hygiene rules at airports and on planes, will be prerequisites for travel this summer, it said.
“We expect many countries to relax travel restrictions towards the summer as more and more people have been vaccinated,” Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister said in a statement.
Hohmeister said the airline, which secured a 9 billion euro ($11 billion) state bailout last year, expects a sharp increase in demand once restrictions are lifted.
Concerned about more transmissible coronavirus mutations, many European Union countries have reinstated border controls in what is normally a passport-free travel zone.
“There is a great yearning for travel and we believe that the summer months will reflect this,” Hohmeister added.
In Britain, holiday bookings soared this week after the government laid out plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions, giving battered airlines and tour operators hope that a bumper summer could come to their rescue.
Plans for relaxing coronavirus travel restrictions have not been announced yet in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to discuss lockdown options with the head of the regional governments next Wednesday.
Lufthansa, which said in January it was losing a million euros every two hours, is due to publish its fourth quarter results on March 4.
($1 = 0.8187 euros)
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Ilona Wissenbach. Editing by Mark Potter)
TRUiC Evaluates The Latest Additions to Registered Agents in the US
The US is still the top choice for new businesses that have a global focus. That is not to say that they are all physically located there. Despite the pandemic creating challenges for startups seeking investment, many are still steaming ahead. More and more, companies from Europe and Asia dominate Amazon and other distribution chains in the US via a US registered entity that relies on a registered agent. What should you know about registered agents?
When forming an LLC, there are a few additions to registered agent services in 2021 that could be extremely helpful to ensure that you always maintain your privacy, never miss important mail, and make you aware of legal obligations that may occur without being too costly or complicated. When you are launching a startup as an entrepreneur, it is vital to decide which registered agent service as they act as a point of contact between a business and a state and will greatly benefit your small business in the long-term.
In short, a registered agent will primarily act as your business’s main channel of communication with your states’ government. A non-profit, corporation or LLC can appoint a registered agent service to receive government correspondence, compliance documents on behalf of the business, and service of process – which is arguably the most important role of a registered agent as this informs an entity or individual of an impending lawsuit against him/her or the company.
Suggested video – What is a Registered Agent by TRUiC:
Next will be a review and comparison between the features of the best online business services of 2021 to see which is the top registered agent service when forming an LLC:
Assisting in the formation of over 800,000 businesses, partnerships with experienced legal professionals like Rocket Lawyer makes for a great option to serve as your registered agent service, all thanks to their 100% satisfaction guarantee. Although their services cost slightly more, they can still provide a full year for free if you subscribe to their Accelerate legal service plan for $49.95/month. Additional benefits include:
- The company is supported by Google Ventures
- Norton Web Security Protection & Information website
- Legal Services Pan which includes consultations with business attorneys
Classified as high-quality registered agent services and boasting over 150,000 customers served since 200, Incfile offers lower prices and a free subscription for one year with any incorporation filing purchase. They also provide their clients with a user -friendly website, that is protected by Norton Web Security, and free information available in their Learning Centre.
Northwest Registered Agent
If industry experience and premium customer support are important to you then the following might be the best service for you. Established in 1998, Northwest Registered Agent has made a name for themselves and is one of TRUiCs’ top picks as they are known to being the most friendly LLC service available. Not only do they provide the best email/phone support, but they also locally scan every document you receive, ensuring that you will never miss paperwork and eradicating surprises.
Whilst getting great customer support and a unique dashboard, Harbor Compliance’s registered agent services will also offer discounts to their customers who pay up-front for multiple years and service to those in multiple states. Plus:
- Website protection by Norton and Trustwave
- Free compliance guides and whitepapers
- Document delivery and scanning on the same day
After careful consideration of many other registered agent services, ZenBusiness has been rated best. This small business formation service was founded in 2015 by a team of entrepreneurs who cracked the code to the barriers that others continue to face today and help their respective clients launch their businesses successfully.
Not only will the start of your enterprise go smoothly, but they will also help you stay compliant with government laws, accept service of process and other tax and legal documents, and provide you with an overall peace-of-mind so you can focus all your time and energy on running your business.
Although LegalZoom is the costliest of these options, they had to be mentioned as this registered agent service has extensive experience and capabilities with an informative and North Secure Website and a broad range of business services. Boasting with a large platform of nearly 4 million customers, LegalZoom may be more convenient for you if you have other legal services operating through them as well.
Why should you designate a registered agent service for your business?
By appointing a suitable registered agent service you will be able to maintain your privacy, be alerted to legal obligations that may crop up without breaking the bank or complicating things, and these registered agent services will ensure that you never miss a beat when it comes to crucial paperwork and delivery of important documents. There really aren’t many downsides to working with an online registered agent service provider, and the penalties for not having a registered agent heavily outweigh the cost.
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