Data isn’t oil: Facebook’s Nicholas Clegg

The Vice-President of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook says India should allow free flow of data across borders instead of attempting to hoard it

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Sep 13, 2019 9:06 AM Updated: Sep 13, 2019 1:24 PM
Clegg

Social media giant Facebook has said that data is not the new oil and India should not hoard it, according to media reports. Facebook Vice-President of Global Affairs and Communications Nicholas Clegg, who is India, reportedly said that India should allow its free flow across borders instead of attempting to hoard it as a finite commodity within national boundaries.

“Data isn’t oil — a finite commodity to be owned and traded, pumped from the ground and burned in cars and factories...a better liquid to liken it to is water, with the global internet like a great borderless ocean of currents and tides. The value of data comes not from hoarding it or trading it like a finite commodity, but from allowing it to flow freely and encouraging the innovation that comes from that free flow of data — the algorithms and the services and the intelligence that can be built on top of it,” Clegg was quoted as saying by media reports.

Clegg said containing the data would be to turn this great ocean of innovation (internet) into a still lake. He said the true value of data comes from allowing it to flow freely and encouraging the innovation that stems from it.

Clegg was speaking at a session organised by Ananta Aspen Centre and Facebook on ‘New Rules for the Internet: Shaping the Digital Economy’.

Interestingly, Clegg’s views are in contradiction to Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani who has always said that data is the new oil.

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