Saturday, Nov 17, 2018 | Last Update : 08:37 PM IST
The only way is for the government to strictly regulate new age tech czars.
The news of Google services on Android devices and iPhones storing location data even if users disabled the “location history” setting to stop it tracking them causes little surprise, though it took a news agency investigation to ferret out the truth. It’s clear these tech giants don’t care about our privacy. The only way is for the government to strictly regulate new age tech czars. Early steps are being taken, with directives to tech companies, starting with e-commerce giant Amazon, to store India-related data in the country. In the long run, it will help India regulate their operations in this country, that are hugely valuable to them as their huge advertising revenue models are sustained by the sheer numbers of Internet users here. There is little fear this may drive away “big tech” from our shores.
Individual Internet and search engines/social media users just don’t seem to know or care that every part of their quotidian lives is being captured as data, and being mined and monetised. The seemingly simple logic of a person who says he/she has nothing to hide, and so feels empowered to use the Internet without acting to protecting his/her privacy, is flawed. People may feel safe until someone steals their identity or hacks into their bank account. Informed consent is needed for tech giants to store all data, a realisation that has hit nations that have streamlined their privacy laws. India is yet to do so: we are in the draft stage of making stringent laws on the personal data of Indian citizens. It will be desirable to get cracking on this soon.