Always respect local laws, says Google CEO Sundar Pichai | India News

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NEW DELHI: Amidst raging controversy regarding WhatsApp and Twitter’s opposition to the new IT rules of India, Google CEO Sundar Pichai struck a conciliatory note, saying the company is committed to complying with local laws and engages constructively with governments as they scrutinise and adopt regulatory frameworks to keep pace with evolving technological landscape.
“It’s obviously early days and our local teams are very engaged… we always respect local laws in every country we operate in and we work constructively. We have clear transparency reports, when we comply with government requests, we highlight that in our transparency reports,” Pichai said.
The Google CEO said that a free and open internet is “foundational”, and that India has long traditions of that. “As a company, we are very clear about the values of a free and open internet and the benefits it brings and we advocate for it, and we engage constructively with regulators around the world, and we participate in these processes, I think it’s a part of how we learn.”
He added that the company respects the legislative processes, and in cases where it needs to push back, it does so. “It’s a balance we have struck around the world.” Pichai noted that technology is touching society in deeper and broader ways and the landscape is evolving at a fast pace.
“So, we fully expect governments rightfully to both scrutinise and adopt regulatory frameworks. Be it Europe with copyright directive or India with information regulation etc, we see it as a natural part of societies figuring out how to govern and adapt themselves in this technology-intensive world,” he said, adding that Google engages constructively with regulators around the world.
The new IT rules for social media companies, which came into effect from Wednesday, are aimed at making platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Google more accountable and responsible for content hosted on their platforms. The rules, which were announced on February 25, require social media players to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.
Google has previously stated that it has consistently invested in significant product changes, resources, and personnel to ensure that it is combating illegal content in an effective and fair way, and complies with local laws in the jurisdictions it operates in.



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