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Google CEO, Sundar Pichai. Wikimedia.

Privacy cannot be a “luxury good” that’s only available to people who can afford to buy premium products and services, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said.

In an op-ed written for The New York Times, Pichai defended his company’s approach to privacy and users’ data.


“Privacy must be equally available to everyone in the world, Google’s approach is to make privacy more democratic,” Pichai wrote on Tuesday.

Google has been facing questions about the collection of its users’ location data.

“People today are rightly concerned about how their information is used and shared, yet they all define privacy in their own ways. I’ve seen this firsthand as I talk to people in different parts of the world.


Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Wikimedia

“Privacy is personal, which makes it even more vital for companies to give people clear, individual choices around how their data is used,” wrote Pichai.

At its annual I/O developer conference this week, Google has announced a slew of additional privacy and security tools for its users across products and platforms.

“For everyone” is a core philosophy for Google; it’s built into our mission to create products that are universally accessible and useful. That’s why Search works the same for everyone, whether you’re a professor at Harvard or a student in rural Indonesia,” Pichai noted.

Also Read- Larry Page Must Address Harassment: Google Workers

He also called on the US to introduce a new legislation for protecting users’ data.

“Legislation will help us work toward ensuring that privacy protections are available to more people around the world,” Pichai added. (IANS)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences