Need a Global Standard Law for Social Media Businesses: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar in the middle of the Instagram line | Latest India News

The Center deliberates on a “global standard law” for social media companies to reduce harm to users, amid claims that tech giant Meta (formerly known as Facebook) was promoting of its subsidiary Instagram with children despite the potential damage, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technologies. Rajeev Chandrasekhar told HT on Thursday.

“The government is considering separate legislation for social media companies. For a country like India, where 800 million users are online, it becomes imperative to develop a safe and open cyberspace as the country moves towards a $ 5,000 billion economy, ”said Chandrasekhar.

The outlines of the policy, which is still in the discussion stage, will address challenges such as cyberbullying, cyberstalking and child sexual abuse content, he said. “What is needed is a collaborative framework to ensure that users are protected from harm and that perpetrators can be prosecuted.”

Meta has been grappling with one of its most serious reputation crises to date after Frances Haugen, a former corporate data scientist-turned-whistleblower, told UK lawmakers last month that the social media giant fuels hatred and extremism online, does not protect children from harmful content. and has no incentive to solve the problems.

Chandrasekhar said that at present, platform conduct or misconduct is dealt with under new guidelines on social media and intermediaries, which came into effect in February, but as the internet continues to develop, the laws which govern it do the same.

“Right now, the ministry’s mandate to take action against platforms only comes after grievance mechanisms have failed. The broader issues of algorithmic biases and biases, user harm and misconduct are being discussed under new legislation, ”he said.

Chandrasekhar said other verticals of the new legislation will cover gaps in current legislation and also take user opinions into account.

“The department will analyze the type of grievances received. It will not be a rushed bill. Broad stakeholder consultations will be carried out and a draft will be published once the framework is formulated, ”he said.

The legislation will also address issues of inclusiveness and how to make the internet accessible to more people, he added.

Chandrasekhar also pointed out that since not all aspects of cyberspace can be legislated by a single country, a concerted effort will be made to increase cooperation between different countries.

According to a ministry’s 1000-day vision document, seen by HT, the government plans to take action to establish an open, secure, reliable and accountable internet, as it runs on high-speed digital information highways and digitally savvy citizens. , and by formulating standard cyber-laws.

Regarding the Personal Data Protection Bill, now called the Data Protection Bill, the Union Minister said the government will carefully consider the report submitted by the Joint Parliamentary Committee once it is finalized. tabled in Parliament.

“The bill establishes that Internet governance is not binary. It is not only a matter of confidentiality, but also of the ease of doing business, ”said Chandrasekhar.

“As far as my reading of section 35 (government exemptions) is concerned, it is not an absolute right. There are checks and balances, ”he added.

Five opposition members of the parliamentary committee tabled dissenting notes in the panel’s final report, citing the lack of quantification of “unbridled” penalties and exemptions for government agencies as causes for concern. The report will be tabled in Parliament at the next session for discussion.

Chandrasekhar said the government needs forward-looking legislation as it prepares to meet the challenges of cyberspace. “Progress is something we cannot avoid. Laws must evolve as technology does, ”he added.

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