Interactive Discussion Regulating the 'Big Tech' (FB, Twitter & Others)

Discussion in Progress

The Governance & Public Policy Initiative-Centre for Policy Research (GPPI-CPR) organised a roundtable discussion on ‘Regulating the Big Tech (FB, Twitter & Others) on 10 December, 2019. This was done as part of a series of discussions focusing on the social implication of technology and policy requirements.
There is a growing movement by governments, stakeholders and critics to regulate the big tech companies particularly by the EU, US and various privacy activists. These movements were fuelled by the events that took place globally over the past couple of years.

The growing market capture and political and social influence of large technology companies has become a serious concern globally. Often referred to as ‘Big Tech’, there is now a growing ‘tech-lash’ against large technology companies, because of issues such as market monopolisation and tampering with democratic processes by influencing voter behaviour.

Central to the emergence of big technology companies is the question of data – its collection, usage, and storage. With the Tech companies having access and control over so much personal data and information, there is not only an increased sense of threat to personal privacy and integrity but also a concern that such control over data gives them immense power over the population and the market.

The issue of privacy becomes more important with the latest Whatsapp hack on Indians with the Pegasus spyware. The privacy breach targeting many Indian activists, lawyers and journalists has worldwide ramifications.

Against this backdrop, this discussion with the policy makers attempted to address the implications of Big Tech in the Indian context.

Deepak Maheshwari, Director, Government Affairs, India, ASEAN & China – Symantec; Dr. Urvashi Aneja, Founding Director, Tandem Research; and Smitha Krishna Prasad is Associate Director, Centre for Communication Governance, National Law University in Delhi deliberated on the topic through detailed presentations.

The discussion was attended by close to 20 newly elected Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha Members and political leaders and party spokespersons.

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