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December 2, 2021
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Joint parliamentary committee corners Twitter, Amazon over revenue model

menakshi lekhi

The joint parliamentary committee on Personal Data Protection Bill came down heavily on Twitter and Amazon on Wednesday over issues that are not friendly for India. The House panel asked the two companies to furnish their balance sheets to understand their revenue model and tax payment structure in India.

The panel is also irked at Twitter for showing J&K as parts of China. Looking at the current border issue with the neighbors, it has become even more sensitive for the nation.

Although representatives from Twitter have tendered an apology, the House panel has asked for a written one along with an affidavit. The panel isn’t satisfied with the excuses given by Twitter.

The Twitter representatives maintained that it respects the sensitivities of India, to which the panel replied that it was not a question of just sensitivities but about India’s sovereignty and integrity.

According to reports in the media, panel chairman Meenakshi Lekhi isn’t happy with the explanations provided by the Twitter representatives saying those were inadequate. She maintained that showing Ladakh as part of China amounts to a criminal offence that attracts imprisonment of seven years.

Twitter officials were asked to justify their stance of response mechanism for hate speeches and corrective mechanisms in place for breaches like this one— of showing J&K as part of China.

On the other hand, the Twitter officials argued that overextension of the consent clause can adversely affect the expansion of India’s digital drive.

Meanwhile, the Amazon representatives told the panel that it doesn’t take the revenues earned in India out of the country.

The panel members also asked both the firms why they can’t store data generated in the country in India.

At the same time, the panel issued a notice on Wednesday, summoning representatives of telecom operators Reliance Jio and Airtel and cab aggregators Ola and Uber to depose before it on the issue of data security.

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