“The tech industry has to step up,” says Microsoft CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has reaffirmed the responsibility on tech firms and global governments to “step up” and ensure the safety of vulnerable populations from cyberattacks and privacy breaches. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

“We have to operate” in a way that acknowledges “that privacy is a human right,” Nadella said during his keynote speech at VivaTech 2018 in Paris. Speaking on the side lines of the conference at a “Tech for Good” event, he added that he believes there is a “tremendous responsibility” on tech firms to scale, recognise and act upon with regards to data protection.

“When we think about the responsibility, let’s think about privacy, I mean on May 25 the world will change with GDPR — we will now have to operate recognising that privacy is a human right,” he said, name-checking new EU rules which came into effect last Friday.

“Just this week, we announced that we will take the core subject data rights that are at the centre of GDPR to every part of the world that we operate in,” he added.

He was joined by French President Emmanuel Macron, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Intel Corp’s Brian Krzanich during the discussion.

He then shifted his attention to the threat of cyberattacks, and said that it was the citizens of the world and the small businesses that are the most impacted.

“We have to as a tech industry — and governments — really step up to ensure that those vulnerable populations and organisations are protected.”

He went on to pinpoint artificial intelligence as the “defining the technology of our time.”

Rather than fear the rise of this technology, which could be something that transcends even human capability, Nadella said that his developers, and their rivals, follow a set of human values and principles that guide the choices they make.

“The future we will invent is a choice we make, not something that just happens,” he said.

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