Feb 13, 2019 11:43:06 IS
Indian activists have petitioned a parliamentary panel to summarize the heads of US tech including Facebook and Alphabet Inc's.
WhatsApp to court and a right-wing political activist summons Twitter chief Jack Dorsey to discuss ways to protect citizens' rights on social media and online platforms.
Social media companies are under scrutiny in India ahead of elections due May in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking another term. Some firms are overhauling policies to curb misinformation ahead of the vote.
Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Image: Reuters
In a letter to Anurag Thakur, the Chair of the Panel on Information Technology (IT), the New Delhi-based Center for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC) and right-wing activist KN Govindacharya says the global heads of Facebook, its messenger WhatsApp, its Instagram-sharing platform, along with the chiefs of Twitter and Google, should all be summoned to answer queries on tax and other issues.
"We're calling everyone. But we have to start with someone, "Thakur said.
"In the past we called everyone on net neutrality … On this subject also of safeguarding citizens' rights and privacy. Of course, we have to call those people who are authorized to take decisions and who head organizations. "
Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Twitter declined to comment.
CASC describes itself as a think-tank that takes up public interest issues. Govindacharya is a former member of a Hindu nationalist group that is the ideological parent of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.
A status report on the "transfer of sensitive personal data of millions of indians", according to a copy of the letter by Reuters.
CAS has been taken WhatsApp to court, using the IT laws and not having a local grievance officer.
The Indian IT Act mandates that intermediaries or carriers of content as WhatsApp, appoint a Grievance Officer to handle any queries, concerns or issues that may have come up in the purview of other authorities.
WhatsApp has previously said it both to Indian corporate entity and a grievance officer for Indian users.
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