National

Amazon apologises to Parliamentary panel, even as Twitter gets pulled up for wrong map

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on October 28, 2020 Published on October 28, 2020

Jeff Bezos during an earlier visit to India. The panel has said that Amazon should file an affidavit signed by the highest authority in the organisaiton   -  K_MURALI_KUMAR

Amazon representatives had earlier declined to appear before the panel, take questions

Representatives of Amazon and Amazon Web Services apologised before the joint panel on the Personal Data Protection Bill for their earlier letter that they will not be able to attend a meeting of the panel and answer questions on the company’s business in India. The panel has given a questionnaire to be submitted in the form an affidavit signed by the “highest decision-making” authority of the company.

The panel’s chairman and senior BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi confirmed that the Amazon has apologised. “They have come. They have submitted to the committee, which only goes to show that the democracy is operational in India and people’s faith in the democratic system, especially the committee system, has been restored,” she said.

‘Communication mistake’

Another member said the Amazon representatives told the panel that the earlier letter was a communication mistake and they never wanted to not appear. “They wanted to appear with their subject experts, who are in United States and they cannot come. They have been asked to come with specific answers. They said some answers may have to be given by people sitting in their head office,” the member said.

Another member said the panel asked a whole lot of questions on the company’s business, revenues, data processing and management. “We have given them a questionnaire and asked them to give the answers in an affidavit form. It has to be signed by the highest authority in the organisation. That is the procedure,” the member added.

Grills Twitter

Meanwhile, the committee grilled the representatives of Twitter for showing Ladakh as part of China in a map. “The entire committee took the matter seriously and showed its disapproval. We sought explanation from Twitter. Depicting India in poor light or incorrect mapping is an offence of treason and it attracts seven years of imprisonment. If you want to do business, you will have to respect the laws of this country, that was the general opinion of the members. It is a question of integrity and sovereignty of the country,” Lekhi said.

The panel will meet representatives of PayTm and Google on Thursday. The members had earlier questioned the Facebook over privacy, bias and differences in advertisement tariff.

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Published on October 28, 2020
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