Privacy, data breach searches up more than 20% in 2021: Google

(IANS) Searches related to privacy and data breaches on Google grew by more than 20 per cent in 2021, across places as diverse as Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Singapore, the company informed on Monday.

Over the past two years, millions of people throughout Asia-Pacific have started using the Internet for the first time, lifting the region’s online population to more than 2.5 billion.

“As we mark Safer Internet Day on February 8, we’re focused on the ways Google can help protect people in Asia-Pacific as they go about more of their lives and work online,” said Scott Beaumont, President, Asia Pacific at Google.

He said that Google’s responsibility for Internet safety goes beyond its own tools and technology.

“Keeping people online is a shared challenge, not something that any one organization can do alone. One of the most powerful ways we can help protect people is by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to navigate the Internet safely,” he stressed.

This year, through Google.org which is its philanthropic arm, the company is supporting non-profit organisations in Asia-Pacific with approximately $5 million in grant funding to raise awareness about security and media literacy and promote positive online habits among underserved communities.

This builds on the more than $11 million that Google.org has committed to digital responsibility initiatives over the past five years.

“Organisations Google.org has supported include Maarif Institute — whose Tular Nalar programme with MAFINDO and Love Frankie is helping educators and young people in Indonesia become more media-literate — and Internews in India, whose FactShala initiative with Data Leads is helping people evaluate online information critically,” said Beaumont.

Google engineers and other experts, many based in Asia-Pacific, have also developed Security Checkup and Privacy Checkup tools, which people can use to strengthen their security and privacy settings.

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