India-born Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on Thursday data sovereignty was all about balance and the countries have to strike a balance between protecting high-risk data and preserving a common internet.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been a great template, it gives a standardised privacy framework and for Google privacy is at the heart of what it does, Pichai said at the World Economic Forum 2020 in Davos, switzerland.
Pichai was responding to a query on India's proposed data protection law at the event.
Users come to Google at very important moments, ask questions, and the company deals with people's sensitive information in Gmail, Google Photos and so on and therefore, it has earned that trust, he added.
"Today we do it by giving users control, transparency and choice around it and over time I think AI actually allows us to do this better."
"The value of internet comes in connecting the world and to do that you need a free open internet to work. However, at the same time politicians rightfully are charged with protecting their citizens and as part of that data sovereignty is an important topic as well but it is inherently a balance, right?."
Countries need to be focused on the highest risk areas and maybe they have to add protections around it, but they want to help preserve a common internet, Pichai added.
Even in India, for example, when one takes a product like Youtube, when many creators are in India, more than 50 percent of their views come from outside the country.
Internet is essentially an export product, one can build a service regardless of where they want to build it and can reach people around the world, that is what great about the digital economy, it creates new opportunities, he said.So, that is the balance countries have to strike, he added.