India government warns Facebook of strong action if it influences electoral process

The government won’t tolerate the use of inappropriate measures.

As the US Federal Trade Commission is probing an alleged Facebook data breach, the Government of India warned the social media giant of strong action if they try to influence the country’s electoral process using inappropriate measures.

IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government would not tolerate any attempts by social media platforms like Facebook to influence and manipulate the electoral process existing in the country, reported Press Trust of India (PTI).

“If need be, strong action will be taken,” Prasad told reporters on Wednesday. He added that the government supports freedom of speech and expression.

The government took note of the allegations against Facebook while the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is probing the allegation of leaking the personal data of millions of users of the social media.

The allegations against Cambridge Analytica took a political turn when Prasad used the situation to attack the Congress party. He alleged that the Congress had links with Cambridge Analytica and the party has roped in the firm to manage their campaign for 2019 general election.

“My question to Congress party is whether to win elections, Congress will depend on data manipulation and theft of data. What is the role of Cambridge Analytica in social media profile of Rahul Gandhi,” Prasad was quoted as saying by PTI.

Facebook came under severe criticism from across the world after the alleged data breach hit headlines. Following the path of the US, the European Union has also called for an investigation into the matter.

Cambridge Analytica, a UK based data analysis firm, has allegedly collected the personal data regarding about 50 million users of the social media platform. The firm was hired by President Donald Trump to manage his campaign in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

The firm has allegedly used the data of the users to influence the behavior of voters in the presidential election campaign. The company is also alleged to have used the data to influence the citizens of Britain to help the side supporting Brexit during the referendum.

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