Google’s Indian subsidiary was all for following local legislations passed by the country in relation to data storage, a financial daily reported.
“We follow local laws and local legislation, so whatever India decides we will comply with,” Rajan Anandan, vice-president for Google India and South East Asia, told The Economic Times. Google has access to a lot of data because of its products and services in India, including Android OS and Gmail, among others
Anandan also said that the company was offering consumers the option to see how much data it had about a particular user and allow them to delete the data they desired.
His statements assume significance in light of the Reserve Bank of India directive issued last month that asks all wallet and electronic payments providers to store their data on Indian shores. The central bank has given a six-month deadline to comply with the policy.
While Google already has a local data centre in Mumbai, Anandan said the company would face several challenges in order to implement it. “Today, it is a global internet economy. Obviously, when you change any aspect of that you have to be very thoughtful of what you want to change, because it has implications on many things.”
“But our architectures are global, so data will flow around the world. That’s why I said today it’s a global Internet.” To act on the directive, Google has to change architectures of its data centre and make changes to its infrastructure, which is not going to be easy.
“You are changing complete architectures, very large infrastructures and networks, but our view is very simple. We should come up with right answer collectively. But it should all focus on what is the right answer for the Indian consumer.”
Interestingly, while companies such as Paytm and Mobikwik have welcomed the move, US business lobby groups have taken a strong stance against the directive, saying that the implementation could affect India's software export market and risk its global competitiveness.
During the interview with ET, Anandan said that the move by the Indian government could be a result of privacy concerns, but Google has already been taking matters of privacy very seriously. “What we try to do is create transparency, choice and control for the consumer.”
In a separate development, Indian policy think tank, Niti Aayog, has said that it was partnering with Google to improve and catalyse the nascent artificial intelligence and machine translation ecosystem in the country.
“Niti’s partnership with Google will unlock massive training initiatives, support startups and encourage AI research through PhD scholarships, all of which contributes to the larger idea of a technologically-empowered New India,” said Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.