Facebook data scandal: Mark Zuckerberg can be summoned if need arises, says Ravi Shankar Prasad
With Facebook mired in its biggest-ever controversy following a massive data breach, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said he can summon even Mark Zuckerberg to India if the social media giant is found to have compromised the data of Indians.
"If Facebook is found to be involved in data breach of Indians, we will take very strict action against them including the summoning of Mark Zuckerberg to India," Prasad told reporters in New Delhi as both Zuckerberg as well as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who has been the face of the company's PR strategy, remain quiet.
"Today, 20 crore Indians are on Facebook. If the data of the Indians is shared through facebook, we have the stringent IT Act. We can even summon Facebook officials for data sharing," Prasad added.
Facebook is facing the heat after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.
Cambridge Analytica received the user data from a Facebook app years ago that purported to be a psychological research tool, however, the firm was not authorised to have that information.
"Cambridge Analytica is the company that is supposed to have influenced elections in America and Kenya. We respect the freedom of press, but we do not tolerate the misuse of social media in influencing electoral process in India. We want to warn Facebook that it will not be tolerated," Prasad said.
Facebook, however, has already suspended Cambridge Analytica from its platform.