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Tech companies need to be made more accountable by external environment: Nandan Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani wants technology companies to be more accountable. In the absence of altruism or benevolence on their part, they have to be made more accountable by the external environment, he said during panel discussion held as part of the Raisina Dialogue 2021, organised by the Observer Research Foundation. We need an external environment that drives companies to this accountability, said Nilekani, who is the non-executive chairman of Infosys Ltd. "Companies can be proactive and lead on these things, but ultimately it has to be through rule of law," he said. Other participants on the panel included Margrethe Vestager from the  European Commission, Marietje Schaake from Stanford's Cyber Policy Center and Samir Saran, President of the Observer Research Foundation Empowering people with their own data Nilekani said that India's approach towards contentious issues like data ownership and data sovereignty is "seminal", because it has an "architecture that empowers people with their own data." "For example, if I'm a small business and I want to get a loan, I can get my banking statement from my bank, I can get my tax receipts from the tax authorities, I can get my insurance claim from the insurance company, and I can bundle all this under my encrypted basis and give it to one or more lenders who then will decide whether it's worth lending to this. This whole thing is called a data empowerment and protection architecture"—Nilekani Nilekani, who is the former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India and architect…

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