Data More Like Water Not Oil, Says Facebook Top Executive

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Mukesh Ambani has repeatedly called data the new oil. The government is currently drafting the data protection bill

Facebook and WhatsApp are fighting off govt pressure to increase traceability of their users

Facebook has said that to truly unlock the value of data, India to allow free flow of data and urged against “hoarding” it.

“There are many in India and around the world who think of data as the new oil, and that, like oil, having a great reserve of it held within your national boundaries will lead to surefire prosperity. But this analogy is mistaken,” said Nick Clegg, global head for public policy, Facebook, at an event on Thursday, ET reported.

“Data isn’t oil – a finite commodity – to be owned and traded, pumped from the ground and burned in cars and factories. Of course, no analogy is perfect, but a better liquid to liken it to is water, with the global internet like a great borderless ocean of currents and tides,” Clegg reportedly added.

The Indian Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal at G20 Trade Ministers’ meeting said that countries must have sovereign right to use their data including personal, community, and public data, for welfare of people, and advocating for free trade should not be necessarily lead to justification of data free flow.

Further talking about the requisites for making global ecommerce rules, he said, the issues of privacy and security should be given due consideration in the debate on free flow of data with trust.

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