'Disparity' between digital publishers and big tech is worrying: Union Minister Rajiv Chandrasekhar

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Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajiv Chandrasekhar said there were 'disparities' between digital publishers and big tech platforms. Speaking at the DNPA Conclave & Awards 2024 in New Delhi on Tuesday, the minister highlighted concerns over ad-tech monopoly and the revenue-sharing model between content creators and monetizers.

On monopolies

“We are concerned about the deep disparity between those who create content and those who help monetize it,” Chandrasekhar said of the ad-tech monopoly. From a policy-making perspective, we want to keep the Internet open, and we certainly don't want monetization of the Internet to be limited or controlled by just one, two, or three companies.

The Union minister also said that one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's priorities in his third term is to curb the disparities created by big tech platforms that act as gatekeepers to monetize content.

“We prevent this abuse of power that basically creates bias for a small person, or a big person, or a middle person because these people have suddenly become gatekeepers over the last 10, 15, 20 years. We can explore legislation but we cannot do anything without extensive, in-depth public consultation,” the minister added.

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

On deepfakes, the use of AI

The Union Minister spoke about how India tackled issues like deepfakes and fake news before they caught the world's attention, highlighting the country's prowess in tackling these technological challenges.

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

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