‘Asymmetries’ between digital publishers and big tech a concern, says Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that ‘asymmetries’ exist between digital publishers and big tech platforms. Speaking at the DNPA Conclave & Awards 2024 held in New Delhi on Tuesday, the minister highlighted concerns over ad-tech monopolies and the revenue-sharing model between those who create content and those who help monetize it.

On monopolies

Talking about the ad-tech monopolies, Chandrasekhar said, “We are concerned about the deep asymmetry between those who create content and those who help them to monetise it. From a policymaking point of view, we want the internet to be open, and we certainly do not want monetisation on the internet to be in the purview of or to be controlled by just one, two, or three companies.”

The Union Minister also said that one of the priorities of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his third term will be to regulate the asymmetries created by big tech platforms that act as gatekeepers to monetizing the content.

“We will prevent the abuse of this power that basically creates prejudice to a small guy, or a big guy, or a medium guy because these people have suddenly become gatekeepers over the last 10, 15, 20 years. Legislation we can explore but nothing we will do without elaborate extensive, deep public consultation”, the minister further added.

Chandrasekhar was also asked about India’s digital transformation in the last 10 years at the Conclave. “Indian tech and innovation system is a rocket which is in orbit and it is now an unstoppable force in the world,” the minister said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi “intends to protect, nurture and continue to catalyse” as the country becomes a partner in future technology.

On deepfakes, use of AI

The Union Minister also talked about how India addressed issues such as deepfakes and fake news before they attracted global attention, highlighting the country’s prowess in addressing these technological challenges.

The minister also talked about the ongoing legal battle between the New York Times and OpenAI regarding copyright issues. Chandrasekhar said it could be a “defining case”, and that the outcome of this legal battle will “define the use of AI in content creation”.

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