Monday July 16, 2018
Home Science & Technology Zuckerberg in...

Zuckerberg in favour of 100 percent net neutrality

0
//
66
Republish
Reprint

New Delhi: Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday reiterated the need of an open internet platform like its proprietary initiative Internet.org in India while reminding that Facebook always supported net neutrality.

“We have always adhered to net neutrality regulations but there are several countries who still do not have norms in place,” Zuckerberg said at the Facebook India townhall meeting at IIT Delhi.

“We will adapt to them as soon as they are in place as we are in the favour of being 100 percent net neutral,” Zuckerberg said.

The townhall at IIT Delhi follows the Menlo Park chapter at Facebook headquarters which was held during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second US visit.

“Free basics programme under the Internet.org initiative aims to connect the next billion people and we cannot miss India in that vision as it is one of the largest democracies in the world,” the chief executive told a gathering of 1,100 people expressing his discontent in some way over the ongoing debate about net neutrality.

Further explaining his stand, he said “Free basics does not intend to harm anyone — neither the consumers nor the operators. Any developer who can stream low-data consuming content can be a part of the platform.”

“Internet.org is currently live in 24 countries and has 50 million subscribers. India itself has nearly over one million people subscribed to the platform,” Zuckerberg said reiterating his favourite example of quoting a research that claims that every 10 people connected to the internet lifts one life out of poverty.

He also said that over half of the nine million users of Internet.org service signed up for a paid-for data package of some kind within the first month.

It has directly led phone owners to adopt new services 50 percent faster than they otherwise would.

Currently, India has no regulations on net neutrality. Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a reply to the Lok Sabha said “the committee of the department of telecommunications on net neutrality has submitted its report. However, it is not the final report nor the government has taken any final view.”

“Based on the report, comments and suggestions received and recommendations of TRAI, the government will take a considered decision on various aspects of net neutrality, in the best interest of the country,” Prasad said.

(IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

The Biggest Lesson For Facebook Is That Users Are Not Guinea Pigs

Facebook has promptly introduced changes to its privacy policy

0
The Biggest Lesson For Facebook Is That Users Are Not Guinea Pigs
The Biggest Lesson For Facebook Is That Users Are Not Guinea Pigs, flickr

A couple of months back, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked if users data on his platform was at risk, he unambiguously said ‘No, adding that there was no way the data of his users could be breached or “improperly shared” on a massive scale.

The Cambridge Analytica data scandal proved him wrong — and then, under intense media scrutiny, a couple of late admissions about users’ personal data being accessed by third parties revealed that all was not well behind the firewalls and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven systems at Facebook.

Fresh reports surfaced last week that Facebook provided select companies “customised data-sharing deals” that let them gain “special access to user records”.

Another media report exposed how the social network allowed about 60 device makers, including Chinese smartphone players, access personal information of users and their friends. Facebook later admitted sharing users’ data with Chinese company Huawei, along with three other China-based smartphone makers — Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

The bare fact is that the 2.19 billion monthly active users (217 million in India) on Facebook constitute the world’s biggest marketplace and the mining of personal data drives profits for both the social media giant and its advertisers.

In 2017, the social media network’s advertising revenue grew strongly at 49 per cent to reach $39.9 billion.

Facebook’s mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 91 per cent of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2018 — up from approximately 85 per cent of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2017.

The plain truth is that advertisers need a constant flow of data for a targeted, customised approach to reach a bigger audience. Facebook has a vast pool of data that, when curated into specific data sets, helps push ads according to various age and other groups.

Last year, a confidential 23-page Facebook document prepared by the company’s two top Australian executives outlined how the social network can target “moments when young people need a confidence boost” in pinpoint detail.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app, Pixabay

Facebook collected the information on a person’s moods — including feeling “worthless”, “overwhelmed” and “nervous” — and then divulged the same to advertisers who used it to target them.

The company later admitted it was wrong to target children and apologised. “We have opened an investigation to understand the process failure and improve our oversight. We will undertake disciplinary and other processes as appropriate,” a Facebook spokeswoman told The Australian newspaper.

It will, thus, be naïve to think that Facebook was completely caught off-guard when it came to knowing about users’ data being used for various purposes, including political gain during elections.

All is not, however, yet lost for Facebook when it comes to showing respect for the humongous data it has.

While apologies are being written every other day – including “we are learning from our mistakes” – a humble admission that every bit of users’ data was sacrosanct, was not up for sale or to be shared with third parties should have come first.

Then comes the second part: Looking at how other tech companies like Microsoft or Apple are holding their forte when it comes to data security, shun arrogance and forge strategic alliances to gain deeper insights.

The third and final part is to abide by the law of the land, irrespective of the country.

“Persons or organisations which collect and manage your personal information must protect it from misuse and must respect certain rights of the data owners which are guaranteed by EU law,” says the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force on May 25.

Facebook has promptly introduced changes to its privacy policy regarding GDPR but the effort has to be done across the board for all countries.

Before Zuckerberg hires 20,000 people to secure his users’ data by the end of this year — as he promised the US Senate and EU lawmakers — the biggest lesson for Facebook in 2018 is that users are not guinea pigs and their online expressions must be kept encrypted, in safe lockers somewhere on Cloud.

Also read: Facebook kept sharing users friend data in special deals report says

Taking users’ personal space for granted cannot go on for long, especially at a time when millennials are becoming more aware of their digital rights and governments the world over are busy drafting laws to deal with the new social media reality. (IANS)