As COVID-19 leads to increase in digital adoption, Google announces new initiatives for data safety and privacy; Details

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August 25, 2021 7:23 PM

Google has Trust and Safety teams spanning across the world, and these teams, including both people and technology work to “identify, fight, and prevent online harms”.

The privacy experience has also been enhanced with Android 12

Google Safety Measures: Google has often stated that it is committed to user safety and privacy, and has taken several steps in the past to accentuate that. Now, considering the digital acceleration caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Google India has announced new initiatives and programmes to step up its commitment to online safety. It announced the addition of resources in the Trust and Safety teams in India, along with an updated Google Safety Centre, which would support eight Indian languages. Apart from this, the company has also decided to bring educational programmes focusing on internet safety for children as well as parents.

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Google has Trust and Safety teams spanning across the world, and these teams, including both people and technology work to “identify, fight, and prevent online harms”. Google has now decided to “significantly” increase the resources in these teams. In a press release, Google said, “In India, we have significantly increased the resources dedicated to these teams, adding product policy analysts, security specialists, and user trust experts, and expanded our efforts to provide coverage in more than 10 vernacular Indian languages, enabling our central teams to benefit from the local nuance and inputs.” This increased input, Google believes, would help in tackling issues like misinformation, fraud, threats to child safety, violent extremism, phishing attacks, and malware.

Apart from this, an expanded Google Safety Centre has also been launched in India on Wednesday. The platform has gone live with support for Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu, and by the end of 2021, it would also support Bengali, Gujarati and Tamil. This platform is aimed at serving as a one-stop destination that would educate as well as empower the users of the service on digital safety’s importance. The company said that the platform covers topics like privacy controls, data security, and online protections. “On this platform, users can discover helpful resources and easy tips, and identify the digital habits that are right for them and their families, all in the language of their choice,” the company said.

Among measures introduced for children and parents is the launch of the global ‘Be Internet Awesome’ programme in the country. The programme has been designed and crafted by experts in digital safety, the company said, and it aims to help parents, children as well as educators learn about undertaking safe internet practices. The programme has been launched in Hindi and English as of now, and soon it would also be supported in other Indian languages.

The company has also announced a partnership with popular comic book publisher in India Amar Chitra Katha and they “will help kids discover these critical internet safety lessons through their favourite characters, in eight Indian languages,” Google said.

The privacy experience has also been enhanced with Android 12, Google said, “with a new privacy dashboard that gives people a clear timeline view of apps that have accessed their location, microphone, and camera in the last 24 hours — so they can better understand and control what data apps use.”

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