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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he is hopeful of a world where laws around privacy and security exist (Bloomberg)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he is hopeful of a world where laws around privacy and security exist (Bloomberg)

‘Data privacy must be part of product design for tech firms’

Satya Nadella said regulations are already being formed, and the example set by Europe with its General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are spreading worldwide

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said the technology industry will have to make privacy and security an integral part of its product design.

“We can’t afford to say we’ll see what breaks and then we’ll fix it," said Nadella during a fireside chat with Telangana industries and information technology minister K.T. Rama Rao at the BioAsia event on Tuesday.

Nadella said regulations are already being formed, and the example set by Europe with its General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are spreading worldwide. However, companies can’t wait for regulations and rules to be enforced. “As technology becomes so pervasive in our lives, society and economy, speaking even for a company like ours, we need to take responsibility to ensure that we build for privacy by design," he added.

Nadella said he looked forward to a world where laws around privacy and security exist just like there are laws for food and drug safety. “Hopefully there will be a global norm around. That’s one thing I would hope for. That we don’t fragment, that we are able to bring together a set of global rules that will allow all of us to both comply and make sure that what we build is safe to use."

However, privacy is not the only aspect that companies need to consider, he said, adding that companies also need to build with artificial intelligence (AI) ethics, internet safety and security in mind. Privacy as a human right will be recognized and regulations will be formed around how data is used and who it benefits.

“Ultimately if patient data is being used, it has to benefit the patient." Nadella said, speaking on data regulations for healthcare services and otherwise. “I think the value exchange around data, its privacy or if it’s being used then who is benefitting from it, are all things where there are going to be rules that are going to be legislated… same thing with facial recognition and AI ethics," he added.

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