Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asserted that the social media giant was committed to check “interference” in elections including in India. Zuckerberg has admitted that he was “sure someone’s trying” to meddle in elections via Facebook. The big revelations by Zuckerberg come a day after the Narendra Modi government had cautioned him following Facebook’s admission last week that Cambridge Analytica used data that had been collected from 50 million users without their consent, an act of breach of privacy.
Union Minister of Law & Justice and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday categorically stated that his ministry has been observing the ongoing development. He asserted that any data theft of Indians with the collusion of FB systems will not be tolerated even as the Union Minister warned that the Centre has stringent powers in the IT Act including “summoning” Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg while talking to media has said that his company had made mistakes but vowed to fix it. He is also open to “testifying” before US Congress after the controversy rocked American politics as well as other countries around the world. The Facebook CEO has also said that Facebook should not have trusted Cambridge Analytica in 2015 when it said it would delete facebook data.
“I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we’ve already taken and our next steps to address this important issue. We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it,” Zuckerberg has said in a Facebook post.
In India, a political slugfest between Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has erupted over the issue. While BJP has accused Rahul Gandhi-led Congress of “data theft” to woo voters ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the principal Opposition party Congress had retorted claiming that the “BJP’s factory of fake news has produced one more fake product”. Congress has also alleged that BJP has hired the firm’s services in several elections, including in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.