IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is keen to promote India as a big hub for data analysis. But will not tolerate any attempt by companies to misuse data to influence the democratic process.
The comments assume significance as the CBI has written to Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research in connection with the illegal personal data harvesting of Indians from the social networking platform.
Earlier this year, Facebook and British firm Cambridge Analytica drew flak from users as well as governments across the globe after a data leak scandal hit about 87 million users.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought the details from these companies on data collection exercise followed by them.
“We are keen to see that India becomes a big center for data analysis but if any data company misuses data to influence democracy, we will act on it. We will not accept it,” Prasad told reporters here.
Speaking on the sidelines of a cleanliness drive as part of ‘Swachhta Abhiyan’, Prasad noted that Facebook has already apologized, promising corrective action in the aftermath of the alleged data breach episode, but Cambridge Analytica had not sent follow-up responses after its initial reply on the issue.
“…So we sent it to the CBI for inquiry. Now the CBI will do its work…with fairness,” the minister said.
The IT ministry is in the process of seeking suggestions and feedback from the general public on the draft Bill and is learned to be keen on introducing it in the ensuing winter session of Parliament.