Alnoor M Peermohamed
10:45 23rd Sep, 2014
Indian Government Second To The US In Demanding User Data: Google | TechTree.com
Indian Government Second To The US In Demanding User Data: Google
If you thought only the US was playing the role of Big Brother, think again
The US government has been facing a lot of flak from global media houses for its data snooping policies and incessant demand for user data from Internet companies. In a rather unsettling development, it seems that the Indian Government is no shining star when it comes to user privacy, as revealed by Google's 10th Transparency Report.
According to Google, the Indian government made 2,794 requests in the January – June 2014 period across 5,002 user accounts. The requests were either to remove content or demanded user data, but since India doesn't have a formal policy similar to EU's Right to be Forgotten, Google is yet to update the government's content removal requests.
The US, India, Germany, France and Italy are the top five countries according to Google, who like to keep tabs on Internet users. It's alarming that despite the low Internet penetration in India, the government managed to make enough data requests, rivaling the governments of developed countries where Internet penetration is high.
Moreover, the three European countries are most likely flexing their Right to be Forgotten muscles, to get Google to pull down data they don't like. In the case of India, it simply shows the inadequacies of cyber laws which have been at the forefront of debate over the past year. Things do seem to be spiraling out of control, especially when it comes to social networks.
With the Narendra Modi led government vowing to make India a digital powerhouse, it's up to us to question whether the government's intentions are aimed at development, or to make it easier to snoop of citizens? Moreover, while companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple are putting in place measures that deter governments from making user data requests, there's always a back door for establishments to get what they need.
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