In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica row, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter alleging that the Narendra Modi app is leaking data to US companies. He claimed on Twitter that the Prime Minister is allowing ‘American companies’ to take away the data of the users who sign up for the application. “Hi! My name is Narendra Modi. I am India’s Prime Minister. When you sign up for my official App, I give all your data to my friends in American companies,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
Gandhi’s jibe comes close on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica data leak controversy, where the data analysis firm is at the heart of the case involving alleged breach of Facebook user data. This row has triggered a war of words between the BJP and the main Opposition Congress party who have traded barbs at each other for having links with the data company, the Facebook associate under the scanner. The Congress then denied the allegation and claimed that the BJP and its current ruling ally in Bihar, JD(U), had engaged the data firm in elections, including in 2014. On Thursday, Zuckerberg, in a post, apologised for the data breach and said that his company would upgrade its security features ahead of the upcoming elections in countries like India and Brazil.
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITy) on Saturday sent a notice to Cambridge Analytica seeking information about its clients in India and whether it had harvested their user profiles. It has also asked the firm to specify who are the “entities,” if any, who engaged the firm to “utilise data of Indians;” how did it collect the data and whether consent was taken of the individuals whose data was used.
“The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued a notice to Cambridge Analytica, wherein the serious breach of propriety and misuse of data intended to profile and influence voting behaviour has been highlighted,” an official spokesperson said, adding that the firm has been given time until March 31 to respond to the notice.