No unauthorised use of data: Govt warns
Bengaluru: Amidst controversies surrounding Cambridge Analytica and Facebook on the data breach issue, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the government would not tolerate any unauthorised use of data for abuse or to influence elections.
Speaking at an interactive event "Bengaluru IT Global Hub Road Ahead", organised by BJP's Karnataka unit, Prasad warned that the government would act tough against anybody abusing data for collateral purposes.
"The Narendra Modi government is very clear. Any unauthorised use of data without the consent of the owner for abuse and collateral
purposes or influencing the elections will not be tolerated. We are very clear about it," he said.
He said five important points are associated with data -- (data) availability, utility,innovation,anonymity and privacy. Prasad said data is important if India wished to grow.
"In a particular area if people are getting infected, because of data we can have a good policy for that. But it should be an anonymous data. If innovation is to be done, data availability is important. "Let there be privacy in terms of your health condition, your official preferences, relationships which are matrimonial in nature and family matters. But the issue of privacy is overblown by those who talk of Right to Information and also talk of privacy," he added.
He said government had issued show cause notices to Cambridge Analytica and Facebook on the data breach issue.
Prasad on March 29 said the government had given notices to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica on the data breach issue and would decide on the action to be taken after receiving their responses.
The IT Ministry had on March 28 issued a notice to social networking giant Facebook, seeking its response over the user data breach and details of steps it has put in place to ensure safety and prevent misuse of personal data.
It raised five questions for Facebook, including whether personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by Cambridge Analytica or any other downstream entity in any manner and gave the networking giant a deadline of April 7 to send a detailed response.
A similar notice was earlier sent to Cambridge Analytica over media reports of questionable practices attributed to the UK-based firm in their
efforts to influence elections by harvesting data of Facebook users.
To a question on the misuse of digital platform, Prasad emphasised that he advocated free media and free speech.