Karnataka lost about ₹363 crore or nearly ₹1 crore every day in 2022 to cybercrimes, which is expected to double in 2023, said the state’s Minister of Information Technology and Bio-Technology (IT & BT), Priyank Kharge. He added that the high number is also attributed to the overall advanced technology usage and penetration in the state.
Kharge was speaking at Meta’s Digital Surkasha Summit held in Bengaluru on November 4. He iterated that this number only pertains to the reported cases, and the actual could be much higher. To be sure, the Karnataka home department said in February that the officials have managed to recover 12% of the money lost (approximately ₹47 crore). The Karnataka Cabinet on August 10 approved the state’s Cyber Security Policy 2023, aimed at strengthening capabilities to control and mitigate rising cases of cybercrime.
At the Meta event, Kharge said that the state government would like to work with platforms at Meta for online safety, especially for women and children. “The government of Karnataka is committed to working with various stakeholders and experts to create an enabling and inclusive digital environment. In this regard, it is commendable that companies like Meta are aligned with the government’s vision to keep people, especially women and youth, safe online. I appreciate their support in prioritising online user safety of the people of Karnataka.”
Minister Kharge also said that the state government is taking several initiatives to position Karnataka as the leader in technology advancement. The initiatives include the formation of skill advisory committees for nurturing talent in a wide range of domains; creating centres of excellence in areas like deeptech, cybersecurity, and animation; forming global innovation alliances with international partners. Further, Karnataka will soon launch a preferential public procurement policy for buying products and services from startups. This is expected to boost the startup ecosystem in the state.
Meta launched the Digital Suraksha Summit earlier this year to offer ‘safer and inclusive internet to everyone’. The Bengaluru edition of the summit was attended by Sandhya Devanathan, Meta India head, and Natasha Jog, Public Policy head at Instagram. Over the past three years, Meta has launched over 30 safety tools and features to promote online safety.