Google is stepping up its user data protection policies, as the Internet giant promises to maintain a strong ground for privacy. The company’s decision to not divulge such information to even governments comes at a time when India and other nations are seeking to impose local rights over crucial user data.
Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud, said in an interview at the Google Cloud Next ’19 conference in San Francisco that the company would never access the data of users on the platform or allow governments anywhere to have access to it.
“We never will, even if we get a request from a government for us to hand the customer data to the government… we will not do that. We will ask the company that owns the data for permission and tell the government to talk to the company,” said Kurian. These rules apply also for the artificial intelligence models built using Google Cloud, he added.
Google Cloud is expanding its business and adding people in India and other Asian countries.
India’s proposed data privacy law suggests storing crucial user data locally and giving certain government law enforcement bodies access to the information when necessary. The country’s Information Technology Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018 also prescribe appointment of a “nodal person of contact” to coordinate with law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure compliance for companies and platforms with more than 50 lakh users.
Pavan Duggal, a cyber law expert and Supreme Court lawyer, said he was not sure how Google’s model could work in the context of Indian guidelines, especially the amendment to intermediary guidelines. “That kind of a scenario may not work in a country like India because the Indian government would increasingly be wanting access to some information in national interest, not every information,” he said.
The company is building multiple AI-based solutions and something like a Contact Center AI, with virtual chat agents answering queries by accessing user data. Google — which recently introduced Anthos, a multi-cloud platform to offer flexibility for switching business operations and apps across local data centres and hybrid and multi-cloud storage infrastructures — said the data would be owned only by the users of the platform. “Our model is that Google will not access the data until the customer explicitly requests us… The same principle that we apply to data, we also apply to AI models. If you build an AI model in our cloud, you’re in the model. We don’t even look at the model. It’s your private software, you do whatever you want,” said Kurian.
Google reiterated that one of the reasons Anthos had been introduced was to give flexibility to some clients for country-specific regulatory compliance.―Gadgets Now