Platforms Must Be Accountable to Sovereign Concerns: Prasad at G20

Prasad’s remarks at the virtual G20 meet hinted towards India’s ban on 59 Chinese apps including TikTok on 29 June.

Updated
India
2 min read
Union Electronics & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a G20 meeting of digital economy ministers on Wednesday 22 July.
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Union Electronics & IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, addressing a G20 meeting of digital economy ministers on Wednesday 22 July, said “digital platforms need to be responsive and accountable and sensitive towards the concerns of sovereign nations as far as safety, defence, and data privacy is concerned.”

Prasad’s remarks and choice of words hinted towards India’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps including TikTok on 29 June. The Ministry of Electronics & IT (MEITY), while announcing the ban had stated that the apps have “engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

Addressing the meeting virtually, Prasad also added that digital platforms that have a presence in many countries “must become trustworthy, safe and secure.” Chinese apps like TikTok are among the most downloaded apps in the world.

The G20, of which both India and China are members, is hosted by Saudi Arabia this year. The Saudi Arabian Presidency has selected the theme, "Realising Opportunities of the 21st Century For All".

While addressing the issue of trustworthiness and security of digital platforms, Prasad said:

“It is time to acknowledge that digital platforms need to be responsive and accountable and sensitive towards the concerns of sovereign nations as far as safety, defence, and data privacy is concerned.”
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Electronics & IT Minister
Union Electronics & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a G20 meeting of digital economy ministers on Wednesday 22 July.
Union Electronics & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a G20 meeting of digital economy ministers on Wednesday 22 July.
(Image: Ministry of Electronics & IT)

Prasad also stressed on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and shared India’s digital moves in the wake of COVID-19 with the other ministers. According to a press release issued by MEITY, he spoke about initiatives like Aarogya Setu mobile app, geo-fencing system for monitoring quarantined patients and COVID-19 Savdhan bulk messaging systems during this meeting.

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