Tech firms have responsibility to protect privacy: Google exec

San Francisco, Oct 8 (IANS) Tech companies, ranging from big to small and established to startups, should keep in mind their responsibilities and tech ethics to securely protect user data or other private information from being leaked, a Google executive has said.

In response to a question about cases of data leaks involving many companies in recent years, Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, said that the key in this regard is that tech firms should put safety measures in place and make them available to everybody working in those companies.

He said that although there are times when a company has the idea of having it move fast amid competition or market pressures, it has to slow down and double check its product before it is launched, Xinhua news agency has reported.

For maximum protection of user data, “we have to go slower, and to some extent people complain about that. But it's worth it to make sure that we get things right,” he said.

“You've got to educate your whole workforce, (and) tell everybody it's important to have quality in the product, and all these aspects are part of that quality,” he added.

Companies should always be aware that there are threats out there they want to be actively protecting themselves against, he said.

Norvig suggested that Chinese companies learn from the lessons of American companies and “think about the system from the ground up.”

Companies should not allow unauthorised access to user data and avoid any risks of data leaking, he said.

Norvig was joined by several other speakers from big US and Chinese firms including Apple Inc. and Alibaba to discuss the future of computing and artificial intelligence (AI) at one of the panels of the annual Berkeley China Summit 2019.

The daylong conference drew a host of prominent speakers, scholars and senior executives from big tech companies to talk about topics ranging from AI, computing, engineering to entrepreneurship, as well as their impact on innovation, media, entertainment and transportation.

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