Describing data as the "new gold", Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that there is a need to have appropriate regulations on data safety and security.
Gandhi made the remarks on Wednesday during his interaction with Silicon Valley-based startup entrepreneurs, known for doing path-breaking work in the field of Artificial Intelligence and cutting-edge technologies.
Participating in a fireside chat with Plug and Play Tech Centre CEO Saeed Amidi and Shaun Shankaran, founder of FixNix Startup, Gandhi tried to link all the technologies with the impact this would have on the common man in the remote villages of India.
"If you want to spread any technology in India, you have to have a system where power is relatively decentralized," he said in response to a question and then went on to share with the select group of invited entrepreneurs about his personal experience of drone technology and its regulation, which, according to him, "faced massive bureaucratic hurdles".
Data, Gandhi said, is the new gold and countries like India have realised the real potential of it.
"There is a need to have appropriate regulations on data safety and security," he said.
However, on the issue of Pegasus spyware and similar technologies, Gandhi told the audience he is not worried about it.
At one point, Gandhi said he knows his phone is being tapped. And jokingly said, "Hello! Mr Modi" on his iPhone.
"I presume my iPhone is being tapped. You need to establish rules with regard to the privacy of data information as a nation and also as an individual," he said.
"If a state decides that they want to tap your phone, no one can stop you. This is my sense," he said. "If the nation is interested in tapping the phone, then this is not a battle worth fighting. I think whatever I do and work, is available to the government," he claimed.
In March, Gandhi had said that several politicians, including himself, are under surveillance.
Shankaran, who hosted Gandhi for the AI event at Plug and Play, said he is very much impressed with the knowledge the Congress leader has shown about the latest developments in technology.
Sitting in the front row of the Plug and Play auditorium along with Indian Overseas Congress chairperson Sam Pitroda and some other key aides who have been travelling with him from India, Gandhi was seen engrossed in the panel discussion of experts on various aspects of artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and their implications on mankind in general and on issues like governance, social welfare measures and also disinformation and misinformation.
Based out of Sunnyvale, California, the Plug and Play Tech Centre is one of the largest incubators of startups. According to its CEO Amidi, more than 50 per cent of the startups at Plug and Play have been Indians or Indian Americans.
Amidi told PTI after the event that Gandhi has shown a deep understanding of the IT sector and his knowledge of the latest and cutting-edge technologies is quite impressive.
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