Monday, July 6, 2020
Home Opinions Did anti-Aadhar brigade lose interest in Cambridge Analytica because Congress' name came up?

Did anti-Aadhar brigade lose interest in Cambridge Analytica because Congress’ name came up?

Also Read

Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

The historic Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar is finally out. And with it, the matter of data protection and privacy is back in the public debate. And while data privacy is a something very serious, I can tell you which people are not serious.

Those would be the entire food chain of Aadhar privacy hawks, starting from the lowly social media trolls to the furious talking heads on TV and all the way to ‘activist lawyers’ of Lutyens Delhi who file the same case over and over again.

There is a simple litmus test to spot these anti-Aadhaar trolls (from social media to mainstream media to lawyers). If they are not talking about Cambridge Analytica, they are just trolls. They don’t care about data protection and/or privacy. At best they are mindless critics, out to stop Aadhaar simply because Modi seized upon it as a key tool to clean up the system. At worst, they are in the pay of vested interests who find their settled fiefdoms to be under threat from the very same cleanup.

Now, the concept of data theft, which stems from the idea of “data as property” is somewhat new and deserves to be explained in simple words. Let me make a humble attempt to do just that.

Simply put, what is property? Several thousand years ago, the only possible property you could own were things like land, cattle, crops, pieces of gold and silver, etc.

Then, as human society grew more complicated, more sophisticated notions of a property had to be defined and protected. For example, if you wrote a book or a poem, no one else could claim it as theirs. If you came up with an idea for a new technology, no one else could profit from it without your permission. This was ‘intellectual property’. And in order to protect intellectual property, copyright laws and patent laws were born.

Today, the modern world has given rise to another new notion of property: that of your personal data. This not only includes your name and age but also your personal preferences: what you like to eat, what you like to watch, where you like to travel. Everything that makes you the person that you are.

And this information is very valuable in a commercial sense. For example, online shopping websites would love to know about your choices in clothes, books, electronics and so on. It is not hard to see that a political party would want to know how you think so that they can deliver tailor-made messages to you.

This is the concept of ‘your data as your property.’ Platforms such as Facebook, where users put out large quantities of their personal information, therefore claim publicly that they will not allow unauthorized harvesting of your data by third parties. They say that ‘data is the new gold.’

Which is what makes the Cambridge Analytica scandal so serious. A shady corporation harvested from Facebook the personal data of hundreds of millions of users. And we will probably never know exactly how many people had their data stolen and who exactly this data was sold to.

So how is it that India’s anti-Aadhar volunteer army never spoke about Cambridge Analytica? The Aadhaar consists of giving your name, age and biometric data to our democratically elected government. The benefits of Aadhaar in cutting out waste/theft from welfare schemes and its use as an anti-corruption tool couldn’t be more obvious.

None of these upsides is present in the case of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The amount of data that people put out on Facebook is several orders of magnitude bigger than anything they have given for Aadhaar. We all know (lots of) people who put out every little detail of their lives on Facebook and many of us might be guilty of it ourselves. And all this data might have been stolen by a shady foreign corporation who might have sold it to anyone.

What did the anti-Aadhaar troll army here in India say about Cambridge Analytica? Silence.

You might remember that there were some initial absurd efforts to link BJP to Cambridge Analytica by means of some son or daughter of some BJP ally. But then just as the big details of the story came out in hearings before the UK Parliament, the Cambridge Analytica story vanished completely.

Could this have been the reason why?

Untitled.png

This seems to have been the precise moment when Indian media lost all interest in the Cambridge Analytica story.

Even a picture of a clearly visible Congress election symbol in Cambridge Analytica CEO’s office which was found in a 2017 BBC Documentary failed to revive media interest in the story.

Untitled.png

The story had everything. The video grab was for everyone to see. It couldn’t have been more prominent.

Untitled.png

And yet, somehow the media still managed to lose interest in the story.

We will never know if Cambridge Analytica actually stole data for the Congress Party. I guess we will just have to accept the possibility that the CEO of Cambridge Analytica randomly puts up in his office posters of organizations that he is not dealing with in any way.

Just the way we will have to accept that Cambridge Analytica has now closed down, it’s owners have voluntarily destroyed their mountain of data goldmine, given up all worldly possessions and gone into the forest in search of enlightenment. We will never know.

What we do know, however, is how our domestic data privacy warriors behaved about the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal the moment the name of the Congress came up.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

Trending now

Politics and Instagram generation: Of memes, misinformation and whole lot of misguided youth

The newer generation seems as clueless about politics as the current opposition leaders.

Men in blue: See how the ODI jerseys for Team India have evolved since 1985

As an Indian cricket fan, do you remember all the Indian Jerseys donned by the cricketers in ODIs? Here we are trying to show you all the jerseys Indian players worn since 1985.

Police suspect Vikas Dubey was tipped off by a police insider, power in the village was cut before the raid: Report

8 police personnel are being suspected of leaking information about the raid to Vikas Dubey

Meet Malik Shani Awan, the Pakistani youth who demolished wall of temple in Islamabad. ‘Allah wishes, I will not let a temple be constructed...

Hindus in Islamabad, have halted the construction of a Hindu Temple after the boundary wall was demolished by Islamic extremists.

Britain makes CAA like offer to HongKongers persecuted by China

Just because a law does not contain special provisions for every conceivable disadvantaged group does not make it discriminatory.

Kanpur encounter: Circle Officer DSP Devendra Mishra’s head and toes cut off by Vikas Dubey’s men, autopsy reveals

The autopsy report of the eight policemen who died in one of the bloodiest encounters in UP History has revealed Maoist-style ambush and extreme brutality.

Recently Popular

Congress leaders and anti-BJP trolls spread fake news that Modi’s visit to Leh military hospital was staged: Here are the facts

The Conference Hall of the Leh Army Hospital has been convereted into a ward for soldiers with minor injuries, that does not mean it is fake

Ahead of the release of Mahesh Bhatt’s Sadak 2, clips of him praising Islamist preacher Zakir Naik goes viral

"We, as Indians, owe it to our brother (Zakir Naik) who is national pride, (and) a prized treasure," Bhatt was heard as saying.

Kim Kardashian as First Lady? Rapper Kanye West announces he is running for US President, Elon Musk extends his support

US-based rapper Kanye West today took to Twitter to announce that he's going to run for President in the upcoming Presidential elections in America.

Amidst chants of Allah hu Akbar and ‘Jai Bheem Jai Meem’, Vinod Kashyap was murdered: The Dalit killing fields of North East Delhi

It was the 24th of February 2020 and the atmosphere was tense with anti-CAA protests turning into anti-Hindu Delhi riots

Kanpur encounter: Circle Officer DSP Devendra Mishra’s head and toes cut off by Vikas Dubey’s men, autopsy reveals

The autopsy report of the eight policemen who died in one of the bloodiest encounters in UP History has revealed Maoist-style ambush and extreme brutality.

Swara Bhasker starrer web series gets record low ratings, leftist elites claim it is because she opposes BJP, not because it is bad

Swara Bhaskar starrer 'Rasbhari' streaming on Amazon Prime has got record low ratings on IMDb.

Despite shrill Rafale campaign, Rahul Gandhi has attended zero sittings of Parliamentary Committee on Defence

Rahul Gandhi has not attended a single sitting of the of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.

In a first in the world, Indian Railways sets up solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh to run trains

The 1.7 MW solar power plant of Indian Railways will feed power to the overhead power lines to power the traction systems of locomotives

Ladakh standoff: Tibetan community in Manali cheer for Indian Army, wave flags as the convoy passes by

The current standoff between India and China began on May 5-6 and has been continuing all along the LAC up to Sikkim.

Agra’s Taj Mahal may reopen from Monday with restrictions, district authorities in dilemma as fresh cases rise

The visitors to the Taj Mahal will have to mandatorily wear masks at all times, and keep their distance from each other.

Politics and Instagram generation: Of memes, misinformation and whole lot of misguided youth

The newer generation seems as clueless about politics as the current opposition leaders.

UP police looking for moles who helped Vikas Dubey in Kanpur ambush, his Lucknow property may be demolished

All policemen of local police station are under investigation on how Vikas Dubey got information about police movement

Dog Meat Ban in Nagaland incites accusation of ‘cultural imperialism’, ‘food fascism’, shows how liberal imperialism can deepen fault-lines in the country

The ban on dog meat in Nagaland has sparked cultural anxieties in the north eastern state, which may fuel existing separatist feelings

TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee compares finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to ‘Kaali Naagin’

TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee said that finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is killing people like a black venomous snake

Men in blue: See how the ODI jerseys for Team India have evolved since 1985

As an Indian cricket fan, do you remember all the Indian Jerseys donned by the cricketers in ODIs? Here we are trying to show you all the jerseys Indian players worn since 1985.

Meghalaya: Local Bengali youths attacked brutally in suspected hate crime, police warn against breaching communal peace

Six Bengali youths were injured grievously in Meghalaya on Friday after they were attacked by unidentified goons.

Connect with us

234,869FansLike
399,020FollowersFollow
269,000SubscribersSubscribe