CPI(M) Polit Bureau has issued the following statement on March 24
THE exposure of how a UK firm, Cambridge Analytics has been accessing Facebook data for use to influence voters shows how democracy is at risk from parties that have money and can use big data to influence elections.
It has also been revealed that there is an Indian link with a company associated with Cambridge Analytics conducting such operations in India.
The IT Minister Ravishankar Prasad’s statement about the data breach in Facebook is hypocritical in the absence of the government creating a legal structure on privacy and data protection of citizens. Without such a law, MNCs like Google and Facebook have no obligation to protect our data or prevent its misuse.
It is also a matter of concern that the Election Commission has proposed to tie-up with Google and currently uses Facebook for its messaging. This helps them to harness data for other purposes including outsourcing them for influencing elections for parties and individuals with money power.
There must be an enquiry into how such operations have been conducted in India by the concerned companies and what services were rendered to their clients.
The government must immediately frame necessary legal measures to protect the privacy and data of its citizens.