Google Opposes Compliance With India’s Computer Rules For Social Media, Says It Is A “Search Engine”


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On February 25, the Indian government adopted three rules for social media platforms to regulate the country’s digital space. However, the definition of a “social network” seems to be a bit fuzzy.

Google on Wednesday asked the Delhi High Court to exempt it from India’s new computer laws.

The tech giant argues that because the legislation targets social media platforms, it should not be included as it is a “search engine.”

Recently, a court order forced Google to comply with the laws after hearing the case of a woman whose images were uploaded to an adult website without her permission. Google failed to remove the photos despite numerous court rulings. The judge therefore declared that the search engine had to comply with computer legislation.

The court also asked Google to identify and disable access to any graphic content similar to that related to the woman’s case.

“Search engines reflect the content and information available on the Internet. And while we maintain a consistent policy on removing objectionable content from search results, the Delhi High Court order has imposed certain obligations that would wrongly classify Google search as a social media intermediary, ”said one. Google spokesperson in a statement.

“We have filed an appeal against this part of the order and look forward to explaining the steps we are taking to remove objectionable content from Google search results,” the spokesperson added.

The Delhi High Court issued a notice seeking responses from Facebook, the central government, the government of Delhi and the Association of Internet Service Providers of India following Google’s insistence that it should not be considered a social network.

The porn site where the woman’s photos were uploaded was also approached for a response.

Google’s next plea hearing is scheduled for July 25.

Indian IT laws require social media companies to appoint grievance officers and nodes to handle user complaints and assist law enforcement agencies respectively. They also require social media apps to help security agencies trace the origin of problematic content on its platform.

WhatsApp and Twitter have already started naming their respective grievance officers, however, Facebook and Twitter are lagging behind as they oppose tracing the origin of some content, citing user privacy concerns.

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About Joaquin Robertson

Joaquin Robertson

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