‘Tech giants must reinvest in infra, jobs’

Must reinvest some profit from their largest markets, such as India, in those regions, says IT Minister

Global technology giants should reinvest part of their profits for development of infrastructure and job creation in revenue generating countries such as India, Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Speaking at the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial meeting in Argentina, the Minister said the largest and most dynamic markets for digital services are in Asia, Latin America and Africa, with India having one of the largest footprint of several popular social media and other digital platforms.

“It is only fair and just that some of the revenue and profit generated from these platforms be equitably reinvested in the largest markets to create more infrastructure and generate more job opportunities for the people there,” an official release quoted him as saying.

During the meeting, the G20 member nations agreed to promote policies that will contribute to bridging all forms of the digital divide, with special attention to the digital gender divide.

The countries agreed to promote digital government and digital infrastructure, strengthen the digital skills of the workforce, deepen the analysis towards digital economy measurement, and to share experiences and lesson learned.

Data privacy must

Talking about data privacy, Mr. Prasad said data is needed to improve business but it must be anonymous, objective, and taken with consent.

He also reiterated that India had taken serious note of reported misuse of data from social media platforms. “Such platforms will never be allowed to abuse our election process for extraneous means,” he said, adding that the purity of the democratic process should never be compromised and that India will take all required steps to deter and punish those who seek to vitiate this process.

However, he added, privacy cannot prohibit innovation nor can privacy become the “shield for the corrupt or terrorists.”

The Minister said that the borderless cyberworld creates almost ‘limitless opportunities of trade, commerce and knowledge sharing but to fully reap the benefits of the digital transformation for the global economy, there is a need cyberspace that is safe and secure.’

Stating that ‘nefarious’ use of the Internet is a reality that needs to be met by concerted action by all, he said the use of the cyber medium to spread radical thought is again a ‘challenge that needs to be addressed both domestically by better regulations as well as international cooperation.’

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