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Letter to BS: Are technology giants determined to spy on common people?

It is time India too thought on similar lines as Europe

Business Standard 

data privacy
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This refers to “Big tech is a big problem” (July 3). The US technology giants, collectively known as “Faangs” – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and — are now worth $3.25 trillion. They have positioned themselves on the plank of changing the world for the better. But their systems and tools undermine privacy.

They may not have set out to acquire political power, but they have, by coincidence, acquired the ability to shape our politics and lives. As Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence of the US, said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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The problem is that both the industry and the government are determined to spy on us. Besides directly spying, the government can vacuum up any data they want, any time they want, from a willing industry. It is time for the people to break up these monopolies that have unlimited powers over us, be it the government or the tech giants, by invading our privacy. It is time India too thought on similar lines as Europe. Europe has begun to regulate and tax big tech and this can reduce its considerable advantage over competitors.

H N Ramakrishna Bengaluru

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First Published: Wed, July 04 2018. 21:26 IST