Google CEO Sundar Pichai on New Social Media Rules: Regulatory Frameworks
Google is committed to complying with local laws and works constructively with governments as they scrutinise and adopt regulatory frameworks to keep pace with the fast evolving technology, its CEO Sundar Pichai said on Thursday.
“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 in a virtual conference with select reporters from Asia Pacific.
He added that a free and open Internet is “foundational”, and that India has long traditions of that.
“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, and participates in these processes.
The new IT rules for social media companies, which came into existence from Wednesday, are aimed at making digital platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Google – which have seen a phenomenal surge in usage over the past few years in India.
Google has previously stated that it has compatible 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.
The new rules, which were declared on February 25, require large social media players to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.
”Significant social media intermediaries” – defined as those with over 50 lakh registered users – were given three months” time to comply with the additional requirements. Non-compliance with rules, will result in these social media companies losing their intermediary status that provides them exemptions and certain immunity from liabilities for any third-party information and data hosted by them. In other words, they could be liable for action.
The new guidelines major setting up a robust complaint redressal mechanism with an officer being based in the country, and significant social media companies will have to publish a monthly compliance report disclosing details of complaints received and action taken, as well as details of contents removed proactively.