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Google: Fully Responsible For Securing Customers’ Data

With Google Cloud India region, storing data in the country has become easier for Indian organisations

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay
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With regulators around the world now keeping a closer watch on data security than ever before, Google on Thursday owned up complete responsibility for the security of customers’ data on its Cloud platform.

“Our businesses cease to exist if we violate customers’ trust. So we have to be responsible for customers’ data,” Miles Ward, Director — Solutions, Google Cloud, said while delivering the keynote address at the Google Cloud Summit 2018 here.

Saying that the Cloud platform can help businesses stop the bad actors in their tracks, Ward noted that Google invested nearly $14 billion in the past three years to build up its security infrastructure.

“We integrate security as first order principle…. You are safe on our platform,” he said, adding that over 1,000 of the tech giant’s security engineers keep an eye on global vulnerabilities.

Google Cloud promises businesses quality computing, security, data analytics, and other business tools.

Its Cloud platform was recently named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms (CCP), which evaluates vendors based on their vision and ability to execute.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

Google said some of the world’s most successful businesses — Airbus, Coca Cola, Colgate, Home Depot, HSBC and Philips among others — are already running on Google Cloud.

Rick Harshman, Managing Director, Google Cloud Platform, Asia Pacific, added that in the past six months, India has become the number one training destination for Google Cloud across the globe.

Harshman backed Ward’s claims on the security aspects, saying that Google is working on providing Indian customers the highest levels of security and operational excellence for companies to be able to run successful businesses.

Also Read: Maintaining Gmail Will Be Easier As Google Rolls New Features

“We have seen growth of over 800 per cent in service training here in India,” Harshman said.

With the Google Cloud India region which went live in Mumbai about eight months ago, Google said enterprises in India are able to take advantage of the high speeds, low latency and performance benefits offered by its Cloud platform services.

With Google Cloud India region, storing data in the country has become easier for Indian organisations.

Google has three data centres in the country — all located in Mumbai.

Representational image.
Google on a smartphone device, Pixabay

“We are building security into our systems as a principle, not as a response to regularity demands,” Harshman said, referring to reports this weekend that the Reserve Bank of India asked payment services companies to provide an update on action taken by them to store transaction data in the country in every fortnight.

“We are also committed to open source. The reality of today and also of future is that companies are going to work with multiple technology companies and they are going to run in different locations – they may work with Google Cloud and also with other Cloud players. So if you are not using open source, you are not going to have intractable tools,” Harshman explained.

“The next two ares that could draw a line of differentiation are analytics and Machine Learning,” Harshman said.

Also Read: Google Home May Get Smarter at Multitasking

“We are already trying, as a company, to democratise Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ML, making them accessible and easily usable for everyone,” Harshman added.

At the summit, Google also showcased its Cloud Auto ML, a service that simplifies the process of making ML models for different businesses by using advanced techniques from Google.

Google also recently launched Cloud Spanner, an enterprise-grade database service built for the Cloud specifically to combine the benefits of relational database structure with non-relational horizontal scale. (IANS)

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Google Is Run Without Any Political Bias: Sundar Pichai

Google shut down its search engine in China in 2010 after China insisted on censoring search results.

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Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing "examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices" on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Google CEO Sundar Pichai insisted Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee that he runs the U.S. technology giant without political preference.

“We find that we have a wide variety of sources, including sources from the left and sources from the right. And we are committed to making sure there are diverse perspectives,” Pichai told the panel.

Pichai defended the company after accusations from Republican lawmakers that Google has developed online search algorithms to suppress conservative voices.

“There are numerous allegations in the news that Google employees have thought about doing this, talked about doing this and have done it,” Republican committee chairman Robert Goodlatte said.

Google, Sundar Pichai
A demonstrator holds up a sign in the doorway as Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies at a House Judiciary Committee on greater transparency in Washington. VOA

Republican Congressman Lamar Smith cited a study by P.J. Media that concluded 96 percent of Google’s search results for President Donald Trump were from “liberal media outlets.”

“In fact, not a single right-leaning site appeared on the first page of search results. This doesn’t happen by accident but is baked into the algorithms. Those who write the algorithms get the results they must want and apparently management allows it.”

Smith also cited a study by “Harvard-trained psychologist” Robert Epstein that said Google’s alleged bias “likely swung” more than 2.5 million votes to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

“Google could well elect the next president with dire implications for our democracy,” Smith added.

Sundar Pichai, USA
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, arrives for the testimony of Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the internet giant’s privacy security and data collection, on Capitol Hill in Washington, VOA

“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai said. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”

Top committee Democrat Jerry Nadler said Republican accusations of bias is “a completely illegitimate issue, which is the fantasy dreamed up by some conservatives that Google and other online platforms have an anti-conservative bias. As I’ve said repeatedly, no credible evidence supports this right-wing conspiracy theory.”

President Donald Trump is among those who have accused the company of censoring conservative content, tweeting in August that Google is “RIGGED” and that “Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”

‘Dragonfly’ project

Pichai’s testimony came after he angered committee members in September by declining an invitation to testify about manipulation of online services by foreign governments to influence U.S. elections.

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A smartphone and computer screen display the Google home page. Australia is one step closer to forcing tech firms to give police access to encrypted data. VOA

The CEO was also questioned about the company’s planned “Dragonfly” project, a censored search engine for China and “next generation technology” that Congressman Smith said Google is “developing on Chinese soil.”

“This news raises a troubling possibility, that Google is being used to strengthen China’s system of surveillance, repression and control,” Smith said. “We need to know that Google is on the side of the free world, and that it will provide its services free of anti-competitive behavior, political bias and censorship.”

An international group of 60 human rights and media groups submitted a letter Tuesday to Pichai, calling on him to abandon the project, warning that personal data would not be safe from Chinese authorities.

Also Read: Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Reporters Without Borders, a signatory to the letter, said China ranked 176 out of 180 countries in its Freedom of the Press Index.

Google shut down its search engine in China in 2010 after China insisted on censoring search results. (VOA)