Indian IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on March 20 opened fire against Congress party for its alleged links with Cambridge Analytica (CA, UK based private firm that combines data mining and data analysis for strategic communication for electoral process). The firm is accused of attempting to manipulate and influencing US Presidential Elections 2016.
IT minister has also issued warning against Facebook and any other social media giant against any attempt to influence Indian General Elections 2019. Minister further sought explanation from Congress Party on its ties with CA considering the recent polls in Gujarat and North East and also the upcoming polls in Karnataka.
Minister has also warned Facebook of stringent action and said “Mr Mark Zuckerberg, you better note the observation of the IT minister of India. We welcome FB profile in India, but if any data theft of Indians is done through the collusion of FB system, it shall not be tolerated. We have got stringent powers in the IT Act, we shall use them, including summoning you to India.”
On the other hand Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has said that BJP’s factory of fake news has produced one more fake product today and alleges that CA has played a vital role in BJP’s campaign in four states, including Bihar polls 2010 and its mission 272 plus campaign.
“The illegal use of people’s data from social media could turn out to be the Congress’ “biggest scam” and the government would launch a probe into the matter,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra has said.
According to Facebook CEO Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, Facebook is reviewing that how much data was accessed by every app at the social media network, and it will accordingly conduct full forensic audits if it notices anything suspicious.
“We should not have trusted Cambridge Analytica’s certification, and we are not going to make that mistake again,” CEO said.
He further said that measures had already been in place since 2014 in order to prevent the kind of abuse which is revealed over the weekend. This is totally a breach of trust between Facebook and our users who share their data with us and we need to fix the same.
“We will continue to engage with the government on this matter. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect peoples’ information and will take whatever steps are required that this happens,” Facebook said in a statement.