To settle privacy vs security debate, tech companies need to ensure trust: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella | tech | Hindustan Times
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To settle privacy vs security debate, tech companies need to ensure trust: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s book, Hit Refresh, releases on Tuesday.

tech Updated: Sep 26, 2017 07:57 IST
HT Correspondent
In his new book titled Hit Refresh, which will be released on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says governments around the world are increasingly acting unilaterally over the issue.
In his new book titled Hit Refresh, which will be released on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says governments around the world are increasingly acting unilaterally over the issue.(Mint File)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella feels eroding customer trust due to confusing data privacy laws can spell disaster for the technology industry, calling for stronger safeguards to users.

In his new book titled Hit Refresh, which will be released on Tuesday, the India-born CEO of the $577-billion tech giant says governments around the world are increasingly acting unilaterally over the issue.

Recent data protection debates across the globe have pitted digital privacy rights supporters against concerns of public safety and national security.

“The ultimate solution to the privacy-versus-security dilemma is to ensure trust on all sides... Customers must trust that we will protect their privacy, but we must be transparent about the legal conditions in which we won’t,” Nadella says.

“As tech companies, we have to design trust into everything we do. But policymakers also have an important role. Trust is not only dependent on our technology but also the legal framework that governs it.”

In India, the Supreme Court recently ruled that individual privacy is a fundamental right, a verdict that will impact the way technology companies handle personal data.

“A principled, transparent, and efficient framework must be developed to govern requests for digital evidence across jurisdictions, and countries should ensure that their own laws respect that framework,” Nadella adds, proposing strategies to increase users’ trust in the age of digital transformation.

“Free speech, privacy, security, and sovereignty are timeless, nonnegotiable values.” He argues that governments have an obligation to protect citizens’ fundamental privacy rights.

In the book, the Microsoft CEO talks about his love for cricket and how technology quickly became his next passion. It tells the story of cultural change and reinvention at Microsoft after Nadella took the helm in 2014.

About whether mixed reality, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing will dominate the tech world by 2050, or a new breakthrough will emerge, Nadella writes: “Anyone who says they can accurately predict the future trajectory of tech is not to be trusted.”