Facebook, the social media giant, which is fighting lawmakers in different countries over data protection and privacy laws, said that governments need to communicate with each other and have a centralised platform.

Talking at a USIBC event, Rob Sherman, Deputy Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, said: “This is right time to discuss data protection laws as we all know how important is data to the economies and to its people. The biggest outcome of the Srikrishna report by the Indian government is this idea of responsibility. The idea that organisations like Facebook, which hold people’s information, needs to act responsibly to meet the highest level of trust.”

There is also a business imperative, he said, adding that Facebook is an organisation that has to run on people’s trust because if users start feeling that their data is being compromised, then they would not be comfortable using the platform and its services.

Facebook today has about 1.6 billion users, which is a little more than India’s overall population. Sherman said that Facebook has been facing issues in most European countries, and now in India, and even its home country, the United States, on how to comply with different laws and regulations.

“It is inevitable that there are going to be different data protection laws in different places, and that is true because what is right for India and its people will be different (from that) in Europe and the US. One of the proposals that the Indian government has put forward is to put some structure around this idea of fiduciary and a structure around how to act responsibly.”

Hails Srikrishna report

While Sherman lauded the proposals set out in the Srikrishna committee report, his only concern was on data localisation.

“It (data localisation) is a new concept and there aren’t any models around the world that we can refer. Besides, the clause on age of consent at 18 is really important and how do you provide data protection laws for different age groups, and these are sensitive issues.”