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Feb 2024 | No Comment

Data privacy risks in childtargeted Android apps worldwide

With many children’s apps lacking transparency in the data-safety and privacy practices, these apps may also be engaging in invasive practices, potentially exposing children to exploitative advertising and even criminal activity. Incogni analyzed the 10 most popular child-targeted apps from 59 countries and found that half of these apps extensively collect children’s data, and many don’t follow the best data privacy guidelines. It yielded a total of 74 unique apps—primarily games. The investigation focused on the data safety sections of these apps on the Google Play Store.

The 34 data-collecting apps gather data from an average of 5.7 data points and share from an average of 2.8 data categories. Notably, 11 apps were recognized as particularly data-hungry, collecting 7 or more data points, with five collecting 10 or more, mainly their users’ approximate location (4), email addresses (8), photos (2), and purchase histories (8).

NHAI signs MoU with NRSC for “Green Cover Index”

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has entered into an MoU with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) under the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for a period of three years to develop and report a “Green Cover Index” for the extensive network of National Highways in India.

Using the capabilities of emerging technologies to enhance in-situ data collection and supplement plantation management and monitoring, including performance audits conducted by NHAI, the NRSC will undertake a comprehensive pan-India estimation of green cover, referred to as the “Green Cover Index” for National Highways using high-resolution satellite imagery. This innovative approach promises to be a robust and reliable mechanism, providing a time-saving and cost-effective solution to generate a macro-level estimate of the degree of greenness along National Highways. It will also facilitate targeted interventions in regions that are reported to lack adequate green cover.

National-scale mapping of soil erodibility in India

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi have developed a national-scale mapping of soil erodibility, a first of its kind in the country. It highlights specific areas where the soil is most prone towards erosion. The researchers in their study have found that out of the 50 districts with the most erodible soil, 29 are in Uttar Pradesh, 13 are in Bihar, 3 in Gujarat, 2 each in Haryana and Rajasthan, and 1 in Punjab.

The study by Mr. Ravi Raj (PhD Scholar), Prof. Manabendra Saharia and Prof. Sumedha Chakma from the Hydrosense Lab, Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Delhi, exploring the spatial variation of soil erodibility and its relationships with soil properties in India was published in CATENA. The dataset has been freely released as the Indian Soil Erodibility Dataset (ISED, at a spatial resolution of 250 m.

The study estimated the national average soil erodibility factors for India as 0.028 and 0.034 t-ha-h/ha/MJ/mm using Nomograph and EPIC models, respectively. The researchers found histosols soil type as least susceptible to soil erosion, having the lowest average K-factor (0.011 t-ha-h/ ha/MJ/mm), while the Xerosols soil type was observed as most susceptible to soil erosion, having the highest average K-factor (0.034 t-ha-h/ha/MJ/mm) corresponding to the soil classes in Indian conditions.

In addition to this, the researchers conducted a comprehensive statistical analysis of the soil erodibility map to visualize its distribution over the national territory in terms of the different soil types, textures, and percentage ranges of erodibility values. The results indicated that the K-factor, estimated using the Nomograph approach, exhibited a stronger correlation with the observed K-factors retrieved from the literature.

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