Consistently invested in product changes, resources to keep users safe: Google

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New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) Google has consistently invested in product changes, resources and personnel as part of its efforts to keep users safe in compliance with the local laws in India, said the tech giant on Tuesday after its deposition before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT over the issue of social media misuse.

Facebook and Google representatives deposed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology.

Sources said the company officials were told to comply with the new IT rules, government instructions and court orders. The representatives were also conveyed that there are loopholes in their existing data protection and privacy policy mechanism, and were asked to put in place stringent safeguards to protect data privacy and data security of their users.

Google was represented by its Country Head (Government Affairs and Public Policy) Aman Jain and Director (Legal) Gitanjali Duggal, while Facebook India Director (Public Policy) Shivnath Thukral and General Counsel Namrata Singh deposed before the panel on behalf of the social media company.

'We always welcome opportunities to engage in dialogue with the policy makers and share details of our efforts in combating illegal content and ensuring the safety of users across our platforms,' a Google spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further stated: 'We have consistently invested in significant product changes, resources and personnel, and have made significant progress in balancing the openness of our platforms with the responsibility of keeping the community safe in compliance with the local laws in the country.' Comments from Facebook were not immediately available.

The agenda of the parliamentary panel meeting was on safeguarding citizens' rights and preventing misuse of social/online news media platforms.

Sources said the Committee's Chairman Shashi Tharoor expressed concern about the privacy of woman users of social media platforms. He said he has also received complaints from several women MPs in this regard.

The Parliamentary Committee on IT will also summon representatives of YouTube and other social media intermediaries in the coming weeks over the issue.

Facebook and Google representatives were called days after Twitter officials deposed before the panel. In the last meeting, several members of the panel had categorically told Twitter that the rule of land is supreme, not the social media platform's policies. PTI SR HRS hrs

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