New Delhi: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today sought an apology from INC president Rahul Gandhi for allegedly using Cambridge Analytica data to swing poll results and said “probity” demands that he should promise not to manipulate voters in the future.
Prasad said on Twitter that Cambridge Analytica’s role in manipulating elections is clear and Facebook has given an assurance “to stop it and maintain (the) integrity of India’s elections”.
Using Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg‘s apology for failing to protect the social media giant’s user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal as a handle, Prasad said, “probity demands that @RahulGandhi should apologise & promise not to manipulate voters and divide the society in future”.
Now that Cambridge Analytica‘s role in manipulating elections is clear & Facebook has assured to stop it and maintain integrity of India’s elections, probity demands that @RahulGandhi should apologise & promise not to manipulate voters and divide the society in future! https://t.co/xo4iJUJsBw
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) April 11, 2018
Last week, Zuckerberg admitted making a “huge mistake” as personal data of up to 87 million users may have been improperly shared with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, a figure higher than the previous estimate of 50 million.
Yesterday, Zuckerberg apologised to the US Congress and took personal responsibility for “not doing enough” to protect Facebook’s users’ private data from being misused and manipulated.
There have been allegations that Cambridge Analytica data has been used by parties in India too.
Mark Zuckerberg’s apology
During about five hours of Senate questioning on 10 April, the Facebook owner apologised time and again for Facebook’s failures. Zuckerberg said that his company was “working with” special counsel Robert Mueller in the federal probe of Russian election interference. He added Facebook was working hard to change its own operations after the story of Cambridge Analytica’s nexus with Donald Trump’s campaigners broke.
Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota said Facebook had a 14-year history of apologising for “ill-advised decisions” related to user privacy. “How is today’s apology different?” Thune asked.
Zuckerberg admitted, “We have made a lot of mistakes in running the company.” He said Facebook must work harder at ensuring the tools it creates are used in “good and healthy” ways.