Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was under fire when it was discovered that Cambridge Analytica which is an American data firm had used his platform to acquire unwarranted information from the US voter.
Although Zuckerberg vehemently denied any involvement with the firm, the American lawmakers had a really hard time believing him. However, a UK watchdog data firm is ordering the infamous firm to surrender all the data that they had gathered on the US voter using the popular social media platform.
The firm is pursuing its interest through the office of the British Information Commissioner. This is because the uncouth behavior of the data firm affected approximately 240 million users of Facebook in the country. In addition to this, if Cambridge Analytica decides to ignore the directive by the UK watchdog firm, then this will pave way for immediate court action because the firm committed an offense of criminal nature.
Regardless of this, Cambridge Analytica declared itself bankrupt on Wednesday. Moreover, it also shut down its UK offices and closed down all its operations in UK and US. The data company is the brainchild of Rebekah Mercer, Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer who are strong supporters of the Trump administration. In fact, Mr.Bannon is the ex-chief strategist of the White House.
The firm is accused of allegedly helping itself to personal information from Facebook users under false pretense in order to spread political messages. The firm is believed to have done this to various political campaigns globally.
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.