Privacy going to be recognised as a human right, says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

He said that regulations are in place and initiatives such as General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are spreading worldwide
Last Updated 23 February 2021, 16:23 IST

While admitting that technology has become “pervasive in our lives and in our society,” Microsoft Corporation CEO Satya Nadella said that he expects “a world with rules and regulations on privacy and security.”

On Tuesday, Telangana's IT and industries minister K T Rama Rao engaged Nadella in a brief virtual interaction as part of the Bio-Asia 2021 conference.

“Privacy as a human right is going to be recognised,” Nadella said, while answering a concern from Rao about a pair of shoes he had brought for his 15-year-old son, with a tracking device counting the steps taken and the distance travelled.

“I think you are absolutely right. Technology has become so pervasive in our lives and in our society. Speaking for a company that has been building these platforms and tools, we need to take responsibility to ensure privacy,” Nadella replied when Rao pointed to tech users' worries nowadays.

“One of the things that we are trying to ensure are our products, services are respecting privacy, security, AI ethics and internet safety. Beyond that, there will be regulations. Privacy as a human right is going to be recognized. When you use data in healthcare, who is benefiting? The patient should. I look forward to a world where we do have rules and regulations on privacy and security,” the global tech giant's chief executive said.

Nadella opined that the Covid-19 pandemic has “just across the board accelerated digital transformation.”

“I even shudder to think, what the world’s level of productivity and economic activity would have been if not for the current generation of technology – whether it is cloud or Teams. It has just kept us going. There is a real structural change.”

When Rao asked about “the new normal,” - working from home and what lies ahead, Nadella said that “going forward, we are all going to expect more flexibility in terms of time, sight and place.”

“For example, collaboration- one of the ways the pandemic has pushed us is to ensure that you can always work from home and still collaborate with other people. If you want to call an expert who is at home, you are able to do that; maybe using HoloLens or messaging applications like Teams. That ability to collaborate has transformed.”

“Another aspect which I see is learning ... building human capital. I think every institution is only as good as it learns every day.”

“The last piece I would say is well-being. Sometimes I joke, I do not know if I am working at home or sleeping at work. You need to equip managers, for them to care for their employees. I think collaboration, learning and well-being are the fundamental things going to transform the way we work while giving people a lot more flexibility.”

(Published 23 February 2021, 13:02 IST)

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