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NASSCOM Statement – Digital Media Ethics Code

NASSCOM has circulated a release about digital media ethics code and intermediary guidelines. The release says that technology is becoming all pervasive and the importance of responsible use and build of technology is imperative for all stakeholders – government, industry, start-ups and citizens. At the same time, the imperative of balancing regulation and innovation will be key as we are in a phase of accelerated technology shifts.

The announcement by the Government of India on the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code aims to address many of the concern areas of grievance redressal, fake news, online safety and parity with existing laws. NASSCOM has been working with its members to share feedback on the Intermediary guidelines with the government and some of these recommendations have been accepted in the new rules announced by the government. The government has emphasised that the new rules will not curb creativity and freedom of speech and expression of the citizens and NASSCOM would urge the government to ensure that this is the design principle as these guidelines are implemented. The call for responsible freedom and ensuring that no information or data is misleading is key for a diverse democracy like India to curb the widespread issue of fake news.

From a user perspective, strengthening the grievance redress mechanisms, the option of voluntary self-verification of user accounts and the right to receive an explanatory notification on removal or disablement of access and to seek remedy against the action being taken by the intermediaries should be helpful. This will require the right implementation and should not become onerous for the social media platforms.

NASSCOM has always advocated for responsible use of technology to ensure a conscious build of trust and transparency within the ecosystem. NASSCOM statement says, “We will work with our members to study in detail the implications of these guidelines and request for consultative discussions on implementation and clarifications.”

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