SME Times News Bureau | 20 Nov, 2018
Stressing that data localization is an irrelevant debate in
an era of Cloud, the deliberations must be in the direction of how people own
and control their data, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said.
In an e-mail interview, Dorsey, who is in India on his maiden visit, said that
in their business, "Internet is trending towards where data sits to be
"The Cloud allows data to be everywhere. I think the more important
question is whether people own their data and how they control it,"
replied Dorsey when asked about the Indian government's demand from the tech
companies to store data locally so it remains within the law of the land.
According to Dorsey, there must be a conversation on data ownership, not
"That's the conversation that I think we need to have rather than where
exactly the data sits. It's more about the ownership by the individual,"
Doresy told IANS.
Dorsey arrived in India the last weekend and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and Congress President Rahul Gandhi during his Delhi leg of the tour.
Even as the Twitter CEO was busy meeting with top leaders, the government
pulled up the social network for being "slow" in removing
"objectionable content" from its platform.
Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, in his meeting with two top Twitter executives --
Vijaya Gadde, Global Head of Legal, Policy, Trust and Safety, and Mahima Kaul,
Public Policy head in India -- asked them "to ensure a 24x7 mechanism for
prompt disposal of requisitions of law enforcement agencies for deletion of
unlawful/objectionable content from their platform".
Twitter replied that it was committed to working with governments around the
world, including in India, to encourage healthy behaviour on the platform.
Currently, there is no Grievance Officer from Twitter in India. To report a
violation, the Indian users have to contact Jeremy Kessel in Dublin, Ireland.
Twitter's European headquarters is in Dublin, as are those of Google and
Facebook, where the Data Protection Commission is strongly enforcing the
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into existence on May 25
According to Dorsey, he came to India to find out where the gaps are.
"One of the reasons why I'm here in the first place is to understand how
to do that and understand where the gaps are," Dorsey told IANS.
"We certainly have heard a lot about language support and that's something
I'll be looking into. Access, in terms of data speed, is something we've been
working on," he added.
In his meeting with Rahul Gandhi, Dorsey discussed various steps the social
network was taking to curb the spread of fake news and boost a healthy
conversation on its platform.
Admitting that fighting fake news was no easy task, Dorsey told a meeting at
IIT-Delhi said the social network was taking "multi-variable" steps,
including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to curb the spread of
misleading information ahead of 2019 general elections in India.
"We think there is a lot of opportunity in India. We love the
conversational nature of the society and culture. We're really excited to make
Twitter viable to more and more people in the country," the Twitter CEO,
who also visited Mumbai and met superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Oscar-winning
music composer A.R. Rahman, told IANS.
According to Dorsey, the company launched Twitter Lite (a lighter data-friendly
version of the main app) not too long ago, specifically for India, to reach
people who don't have access to hi-speed or costly data.
"India remains a top priority market for us and we're making sure we
understand how people use it here so that we can make it better."
When it comes to monetising Twitter and further tapping the Indian market,
Dorsey has his focus clear.
"We do have a very healthy data business, so we've monetised beyond ads
already. We'd like to bring all of our revenue lines to all of our
markets," Dorsey told IANS.
"We're always looking for opportunities to continue to build a business
model that aligns with the interests of the people that we're serving."