“Facebook User data breach by third parties amidst the Indian general elections 2019”, potentially can be a face changer.
Recent Social Media platform propaganda has set the fire not only across Atlantic but has also reached the Indian horizons as well, that too In a much-concerned manner. Facebook, A social Networking giant who is facing strong criticism for its user base data leak by third parties, seems to be grappling for retaining its reputation and goodwill which infact, is at stake, as of now.
But, what story inside?
It all began inlately2014, when a Russian academic“Aleksandr Kogan”, developed a Facebook app which paid thousands of users to take a psychological test, In lieu of setting up a signup page, containing various data fields viz; name, email, D.O.B, region etc.
Then Kogan sold the data to a company called Cambridge Analytica, a privately held company that combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process.
Later, in 2016, Facebook brought under lens again just after the US Presidential elections.Post the elections, Facebook got engulfed with allegations that it helped spread fake news stories that influenced voter’s behavior while the election campaign.
Though Facebook has confirmed that it had worked on its control systems just after it discovered the alleged abuses by Cambridge Analytica in 2015, but the issue has aggravated some political parties across the world.
In the Recent interview, he admitted that they may have made mistakes in opening up its network so much a decade ago that it led to the recent problems.With an open apology, In an attempt to mitigate the current situation.He found cited“I think we let the community down, and I feel really bad and I’m sorry about that”.
India raised its concern.Is it valid, why so?
Facebook seems to have released keys to it’s Pandora’s Box. Amid boiling controversy over social media data misuse, Indian Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has issued a warning against any abuse of social media in elections in India.
The warning came in the wake of reports that a third party, British consultancy improperly accessed information of millions of Facebook users to target US voters.
India’s general elections are due in 2019. There are already several states electing new assemblies this year. Prasad has told reporters, “Abuse of social media including Facebook cannot be allowed to impact the fairness of elections.”
With over 460 Million Internet users, India ranks the second largest online market, following China.Through rough estimates, By 2021, there will be a tremendous increase in the said toll to 635.8 Mn Internet users in India.
As a matter of fact, Indian politicians are also prominently present on social media.Ever since Facebook’s scandal been under the lens, privacy advocates in India are now demanding strict and stable policies in the country. This comes at a time when the Indian government’s Aadhaar program has been garnering widespread attention due to its suspected vulnerability, which has left the system susceptible to countless data breaches and attacks.
Interestingly, in September 2017, reports had surfaced that a major Indian opposition party was looking to set a deal with so-called ”Cambridge Analytica” with an intent to Influence and connect with the major section of the country’s voting population in the upcoming 2019 general elections.
Therefore, the warning issued by Ravi Shankar Prasad may well serve as a strict reminder that India must remain vigilant in the course of its upcoming general elections. This warning from the Minister serves for both social media giants like Facebook as well as to all nuisance who are preparing to indulge in malpractices such as social media data misuse ahead of the elections.
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Vaibhav Srivastav, From ITvoir News Desk