'Very loose rules' led to Facebook data leak, says SAS chief

Amid a global furore over breach of personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users, including in India, Goodnight said although all technology companies have obligation to protect personal information of their customers they have collected, most of them are careless about it. Reuters File Photo

Data analytics major SAS Institute chief Jim Goodnight has blamed "very very loose rules and regulations" at Facebook for the breach of personal data of millions of users.

Amid a global furore over breach of personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users, including in India, Goodnight said although all technology companies have obligation to protect personal information of their customers they have collected, most of them are careless about it.

A pioneer in data analytics, the North Carolina-based SAS Institute has annual revenue of over US$ 3.2 billion. "I think Facebook just had very, very loose rules and regulations about what they would permit and what they don't, because that is how they are making money.... in short, technology companies have been very loose with the data they have collected on individuals," Goodnight, who is the company's co-founder and chief executive, told PTI in an interview here.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the SAS Global Forum here, which was held from April 8-11.

At SAS, he said they always make sure that all any personalised data is completely encrypted so that none can break in.

However, he said he is against any government interference or regulations.

"I would hate to see the European Union's general data privacy protection-type regulations imposed in the US because I don't like any kind of regulations. I hope it does not get us to wrestle like in Europe," the septuagenarian said.

About India's biometric identification system Aadhaar, Goodnight said the country would have to ensure that an individual's data is not breached and cited the example of the US where there is a lot of regulation to protect data related to social security.

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