Also in this letter:
Twitter employees start leaving after Elon Musk’s ultimatum
■ Amazon CEO Andy Jassy says layoffs will extend into next year
■ Infographic Insight: Bitcoin has been declared dead 466 times
Government publishes Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022
The government published the first draft law on the protection of digital personal data for public consultation on Friday, asking stakeholders to submit their opinions on it by December 17.
Yes, but: Stakeholder comments and submissions on the draft data protection law will not be made public “to allow those submitting comments to provide them freely”.
Other changes: On November 16, we announced that the Data Bill – renamed the Digital Data Protection Bill – would remove provisions aimed at regulating non-personal data and social media, and allow the storage and transfer of data in “trusted” jurisdictions, which would be defined by the government from time to time.
Two days later, we reported that the revised bill includes stiff financial penalties for organizations that fail to contain data breaches or notify users and the government of these incidents.
According to the final bill, any organization, data fiduciary or processor processing users’ personal data that fails to “take reasonable security measures to prevent the breach of personal data”, faces a fine of up to Rs 200. crore.
It also states that if an organization fails to “advise the [Data Protection Board] and affected data controllers (users) in the event of a personal data breach that is likely to result in material harm to the data controllers, a penalty of up to Rs 150 crore will be imposed”.
It also proposes a similar sanction for organizations that do not fulfill certain additional obligations regarding minors.
Twitter employees start leaving after Elon Musk’s ultimatum
According to some estimates, hundreds of Twitter employees have decided to leave the social media company following a deadline set Thursday by new owner Elon Musk, who said employees must sign up for “long high-intensity hours” or leave with three months of severance pay.
The exact number of employees intending to leave the company could not immediately be established.
The departures highlight the reluctance of some of Twitter’s nearly 3,000 employees to stay with the company after Musk fired half of the workforce, including senior management, and ruthlessly changed the culture to emphasize the long hours and an intense pace.
Musk’s response: Musk took to Twitter on Thursday night and said he wasn’t worried about the resignations because “the best people stay.”
He also met with high-level employees on Thursday to try to convince them to stay, Reuters reported, citing a current and recently deceased employee who is in contact with Twitter colleagues.
Confined offices: The company also told employees it would close its offices and cut off access to badges until Monday, Reuters reported, citing two sources. Security guards began kicking some employees out of an office Thursday night, a source said.
Will Twitter break? The departures include numerous engineers tasked with fixing bugs and preventing service outages, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of employees.
Thursday evening, the version of the Twitter application used by employees began to slow down, according to a Reuters source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter risked breaking overnight.
“If it breaks, there’s no one left to fix things in many areas,” the person said.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy says layoffs will continue until next year
The massive layoffs that began this week across Amazon’s corporate ranks will continue into next year, CEO Andy Jassy said Thursday.
In a memo sent to employees, Jassy said the company informed workers in its appliance and book divisions of the layoffs on Wednesday. He added that he also offered other employees a voluntary buyout offer.
Cost reduction: Amazon, which has cut costs in various areas of its business in recent months, is undergoing an annual review process to determine where it can save more money. Jassy said this year’s exam is “more challenging” due to the economic landscape and the company’s rapid hiring over the past few years.
Big Tech layoffs: Other big tech companies have also cut their workforces due to concerns about an economic slowdown. Facebook parent company Meta said last week it would lay off 11,000 people, or about 13% of its workforce. And Elon Musk, Twitter’s new CEO, cut the company’s workforce in half this month.
The recent collapse of crypto exchange FTX has led many to wonder if crypto is over. On November 15, author Chetan Bhagat wrote a column for The Times of India in which he declared that “cryptography is over. This toxic nonsense is now exposed.”
However, but: Bhagat is not the first to write the crypto obituary and he certainly won’t be the last.
Since the invention of bitcoin in 2009, the world’s original cryptocurrency – now a proxy for the entire ecosystem – has been declared dead at least 466 times, according to the website 99bitcoins.com, which diligently tracks these premature obituaries for years.
The first bitcoin obituary dates back to 2010, and the latest is that of Bhagat. Obituaries peaked in 2017, when a staggering 124 articles declared digital currency had no future.
Selection criteria: A note on 99bitcoins reads: “As the primary source of Bitcoin obituaries, we use the following guidelines in order to qualify an obituary:
- The content itself (not just the title) should be explicit that Bitcoin is or will be worthless (no “maybe” or “could”).
- The content was produced by someone with a notable following or a site with significant traffic.
- At this time, we are only accepting obituaries in English.”
India’s startup funding winter has been long and cold. Venture capital funding for Indian startups fell to $2.7 billion in the September quarter from nearly $12 billion in the same period last year, according to Venture Intelligence.
However, funding increased slightly this week, with Contentstack raising $80 million and Simplilearn raising $45 million.
Amid macroeconomic uncertainty and investor risk aversion, Indian startups may soon receive more good news, as Tiger Global’s head of private investments, Scott Shleifer, will be in the country next week ET reported November 17. Tiger Global is one of the most aggressive investors in the world and in India, having backed companies such as Flipkart, Ola, Razorpay and Upstox.
Here are this week’s best finance deals.
Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai and Siddharth Sharma in Bengaluru. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.