Sundar Pichai: Free Flow Of Data Is A Win-Win Situation

India is a large country with a skewed demographic map. An increase in connectivity and access to the internet has given birth of everyone’s presence online and large scale content creation. Now we all are well aware of the pros of this. Access to knowledge in terms of rights, the world outside, and entertainment are some of them. For a growing country like India, this wave is one that we all want to ride.

Free flow of data basically means that the world is divided into data pockets. When we “allow” Google and Facebook to share our information or websites, use cookies to track our consumption pattern, our behaviour becomes accessible to researchers. These researchers then market their products in certain ways.

Sundar Pichai in his open letter to the Indian government added that the free flow of data is a win-win situation for all stakeholders. It will help global tech companies assist the domestic digital economy as well as Indian startups to grow. His letter indicated that the Google India team would follow up with the government to discuss some of these issues in order to reach a consensus.

With all going hunky dory, we conveniently forgot the cons of putting ourselves out there. The work is a big place and not everyone needs to know everything. Here is where the Data protection act comes into play. Where some say that it is India’s attempt to ape the west, some say that it is India’s way to protect the people. Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart, stated that the data protection laws in India need to be in line with the requirements of the local economy instead of mimicking what the west has implemented.

Whether we agree or not, this law is here to stay. The only takeaway we can have is to be careful. Careful of how much of ourselves do we want to put out there. Facebook’s episode with Cambridge analytics is a good reminder of the fact that there’s someone sitting behind a monitor and monitoring us. Let’s be cautious of what choose to be online.

 

By Abhishek Aggarwal

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