Government and Policy

Modi government asks Facebook to submit report on recent privacy breach

Facebook has entered a fresh brawl after the information leak of almost 40 million Facebook users. The controversy has come after the recent privacy breach which indicted the UK based Cambridge Analytica of stealing users data through Facebook accounts. Guy Rosen, Vice President of Product Management, Facebook, stated in a press call that vulnerability leading to this breach was introduced in July 2017. As a precautionary measure, Facebook has reset the Access Tokens or digital keys of other 50 million accounts, according to reports.

This has invited the wrath of governments across the world, including India. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission which safeguards European online data may impose a fine of $1.63 billion on Facebook in relation to the breach, if it is found that the social media giant violated the new strict privacy laws of the Europen Union.

Ravi Shankar Prasad led Ministry of Electronics and IT has asked Facebook to analyse and submit a report at earnest, as the breach has affected 270 million Facebook users in India. “The data of Indian users may have been compromised. In fact, we fear that the rot may run a lot deeper,” an IT ministry source said. Facebook officially has requested two 2 days to react and release a statement.

The electronic attack is theorised to have gained the access of user’s accounts and even the personal chats. This also leaves all the third party apps vulnerable, where the users have logged into using Facebook credentials, says a report.

It was only recently that Facebook was found guilty of taking the users’ privacy for granted. The nexus between Cambridge Analytica (CA) and the Indian National Congress was exposed, after the breaking of news that Facebook allegedly allowed CA to harness Facebook user data for election campaigning. Indian Government has already ordered a CBI inquiry in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Thus, the fresh brawl can fuel more trouble for Facebook.

This stirred a fresh debate both in international politics and social media about the rampant misuse of private data. The dimension of reaping electoral benefits has even questioned the integrity of internet giants like Facebook. OpIndia had an interview with Jamie Barlett, the CA whistleblower, where he explained the modus operandi of such companies, and how they promote the client’s agenda in public and across the social media platforms.

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