Several popular news outlets, including the New York Times, have reported that Facebook worked with Cambridge Analytica to influence voters in the United States to elect Donald Trump. Cambridge Analytica allegedly harvested the personal information of over 50 million Facebook members in order to achieve this political goal. Sources claim that Facebook allowed this private information to be collected and analyzed without member knowledge or consent.
India will be holding national elections in 2019 and there is concern among the current administration that Facebook could use member data to influence the outcome of the election. India’s IT minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, made an open statement to Mark Zuckerberg via media reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday, March 21. Prasad stated that he would not tolerate data theft of Indian citizens by Facebook, and that he was prepared to summon Zuckerberg if needed.
The United Kingdom’s House of Parliament has already summoned Zuckerberg to explain the data breach by Cambridge Analytica, a British company, to influence the U.S. 2016 election. The company harvested the data of 50 million Facebook members using personality tests. The UK government is concerned that companies can misuse data in inappropriate ways, in order to swing elections.
The United States government is also putting pressure on Zuckerberg to testify before the U.S. Senate regarding the inappropriate data collection methods. India government is taking a proactive approach by warning Zuckerberg not to interfere with its upcoming election.