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Google, Facebook contribute to Kejriwal’s free Wi-Fi dream

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

arvindkejriwalNew Delhi: Top global names in the internet and telecom sectors like Google and Facebook have been in discussions with the Arvind Kejriwal government, which aims at making Delhi a free wi-fi city, putting it at par with San Francisco, Stockholm and Shanghai in providing free internet connectivity throughout the city.

As the project of making Delhi a free public wi-fi city gains momentum, government officials are expecting some of the world’s best known tech firms to come forth to help in implementing the project throughout the city, over the next two months.

A Delhi government official told the Economic Times (ET), “Google, Facebook, Cisco, which is a global leader, Aruba, Ericsson, Vodafone, all of these companies, including many domestic firms, have all consulted with us and shown interest.” The official also said that the RFP tender document has been drafted and is waiting for final approval from the administration.

www.prontonetworks.com
www.prontonetworks.com

“Half of the discussion has been finished, the remaining half will be done on Sunday afternoon. CM said though it is a holiday, he will have a meeting. He changed massive portions of the RFP and redid the proposal,” the official said.

Regarding the same project, Google gave a statement to ET, “We were approached for suggestions in very early stage discussion of this project.” Facebook said, “We are committed to working with various government agencies to help make Digital India a reality.”

Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri, the AAP government’s IT face, who oversaw the planning and consultation process of this project confirmed the interest shown by the companies.

Shastri told ET: “The interest level is very high (among global firms) because of the huge opportunity that they feel and the fact that this is a huge database. From a social standpoint they all want to participate in bridging the digital divide. Also, Delhi being a capital city, if you do something here, you are able to showcase something not just in India but also rest of the world.”

There are two crore devices in Delhi and capacity for simultaneous log-in for 50 lakh devices will be in place over a period of time. If cleared by the cabinet in mid-September, the tender document will be circulated soon and the officials expect tenders to be awarded in October.

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Facebook Collects Information of 6 Lakh Canadian Citizens, Breaks Privacy Laws

"Facebook's refusal to act responsibly is deeply troubling given the vast amount of sensitive personal information users have entrusted to this company," said Therrien

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facebook, canada privacy laws
Canada's Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien takes part in a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 25, 2019. VOA

Facebook Inc broke Canadian privacy laws when it collected the information of some 600,000 citizens, a top watchdog said on Thursday, pledging to seek a court order to force the social media giant to change its practices.

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien made his comments while releasing the results of an investigation, opened a year ago, into a data sharing scandal involving Facebook and the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Though Facebook has acknowledged a “major breach of trust” in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company disputed the results of the Canadian probe, Therrien said.

“Facebook’s refusal to act responsibly is deeply troubling given the vast amount of sensitive personal information users have entrusted to this company,” said Therrien. Specifically, the company refused to voluntarily submit to audits of its privacy policies and practices over the next five years, he said.

facebook, canada privacy laws
Though Facebook has acknowledged a “major breach of trust” in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company disputed the results of the Canadian probe, Therrien said. Pixabay

“The stark contradiction between Facebook’s public promises to mend its ways on privacy and its refusal to address the serious problems we’ve identified “or even acknowledge that it broke the law ” is extremely concerning,” he added.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner does not have the power to levy financial penalties, but it can seek court orders to force an entity to follow its recommendations. It could take a year to obtain a court order, Therrien said.

The investigation revealed there was an “overall lack of responsibility” with people’s personal information that means “there is a high risk that” their data “could be used in ways that they do not know or suspect, exposing them to potential harms.”

Apart from privacy violations by Facebook, the investigation also highlighted problems with regulating social media. Facebook’s rejection of the watchdog’s recommendations revealed “critical weaknesses” in the current legislation, Therrien added, urging lawmakers to give his office more sanctioning power.

canada privacy laws, facebook
Apart from privacy violations by Facebook, the investigation also highlighted problems with regulating social media. Pixabay

“We should not count on all companies to act responsibility and therefore a new law should ensure a third party, a regulator, holds companies responsible,” Therrien said.

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Canadian Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, who this month said the government might have to regulate Facebook and other social media companies unless they did more to help combat foreign meddling in this October’s election, will react later on Thursday, a spokeswoman said.

Facebook said on Wednesday it had set aside $3 billion to cover a settlement with U.S. regulators probing revelations that the company had inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million of its users with Cambridge Analytica. (VOA)