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Tech Firms to Protect User Privacy, Prevent Abuse: GoI

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CIOInsider Team

Technology firms must protect user privacy and prevent abuse of their platforms, IT minister said on Thursday, speaking as the government draws up a data privacy law and seeks to push companies to store more data locally.

The Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he wanted Indians to have access to more technology platforms but said this should not undermine user privacy.

"I have only one caveat - it must be safe and secure, it must safeguard the privacy rights of the individual and you must make extra efforts that people don't abuse the system," Mr Prasad told industry executives at a gathering organised by Alphabet Inc's Google in New Delhi.

US technology giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon find India's 130 crore people and their massive consumption of mobile data as their key growth factor.

India has already forced foreign payment firms such as Mastercard Inc and Visa Inc to store data locally.

Amidst this, technology firms are now concerned that the government's drive to step up measures to boost local data storage will increase investment costs.

Google said at the event that it had launched a new job-search feature on its Google Pay platform, which is used by 6.7 crore people in a month and competes with SoftBank-backed Paytm and Walmart Inc's PhonePe.

Google also expanded its artificial intelligence-based voice assistant service to feature phones by partnering with one of India's top telecom carriers in a country where more than 30 crore use 2G devices.

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