Google CEO Sundar Pichai says India, U.S. can lead on standardising privacy frameworks

‘Very excited’ and ‘proud’ to be part of India’s growth story, he says.

Updated - June 13, 2019 09:01 am IST

Published - June 13, 2019 08:52 am IST - Washington

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

India and the U.S. share enough values in common to lead on standardising privacy frameworks, according to Google Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sundar Pichai.

If standardisation was done across the world, it could significantly enhance digital trade, he said.

“The free flow of information is essential for digital trade and we have all seen the benefits of it...we need better safeguards around user privacy. I think , [and] rightfully so, users are increasingly concerned about it.” Mr. Pichai said.

“It is an important moment to create standardised frameworks both for users to have choice and total transparency and for companies to be accountable as well.”

India and the U.S. have “reasonably aligned” notions around a free and open internet, have both safeguarded principles of free expression, and, therefore, have enough shared values to lead in privacy frameworks.

Mr. Pichai’s remarks were made during an India Ideas Summit of the U.S. India Business Council (USIBC) in Washington DC. He was there to receive a Global Leadership Award from the USIBC.

Nasdaq president and CEO Adena Friedman was also an award recipient.

On how he sees Google in India, Mr. Pichai said, “We took a very long term view of our investments there,” and Google was “very excited” and “proud” to be part of India’s growth story.

Cheaper phones

“Android literally powers all phones in India and we deeply care about making phones cheaper every year, so that more people can afford it [sic] and access it ” Mr. Pichai said, pointing to the growth of local cellphone manufacturers.

“Our products played a foundational role,” Mr. Pichai said. “ But increasingly it’s also happening in reverse. The scale of the Indian market allows us to develop Indian products there and actually take it out globally as well. Mr. Pichai spoke of digital payments as an example.

“India was moving towards digital payments, so we thought it was the best market to push the future of digital payments, “ Mr. Pichai said. Google had launched Tez in 2017 in India, which was later renamed Google Pay as it was expanded globally.

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