Facebook fallout: Election Commission to discuss measures to protect electoral process
The EC's social media cell was also expected to draw up a report on the allegations of data mining to influence voters. CEC OP Rawat had recently said that the poll panel was drafting a media policy that would allow it to monitor content that transgresses the code of conduct and also checks the misuse of the medium for surrogate publicity.
The Election Commission is set to discuss measures it can adopt to protect the electoral process from being compromised by "outside influences" after revelations of data harvesting by poll consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica through Facebook. Next week, the poll panel would also discuss whether the 2014 Lok Sabha polls were also influenced due to data mining. But without details and expert opinion, the EC cannot ascertain that, said an official.
In the coming days, the commission could also seek an "actual" report from the IT Ministry to decide on the future course of action, a senior EC functionary said. He said that as the issue was related to elections, the poll watchdog would have to take decisions, including recommending changes, in the law to the government.
The commission would also review its understanding with Facebook which had been helping the body in encouraging youth to enroll as voters.
The EC's social media cell was also expected to draw up a report on the allegations of data mining to influence voters.
CEC OP Rawat had recently said that the poll panel was drafting a media policy that would allow it to monitor content that transgresses the code of conduct and also checks the misuse of the medium for surrogate publicity.
"It has come to the EC's notice that some public relations firms are actively being deployed to shape public opinion online. With increasing use of mobile-internet technology, the influence of social media has also risen and it is high time that social media's content is monitored,? Rawat had said at a seminar.
The Facebook data scandal had erupted after a whistleblower revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to Trump's 2016 campaign, accessed personal data from 50 million users of the website without their knowledge, and might have kept that data even after the social media giant told the company to delete it.
Cambridge Analytica (CA) had created psychological profiles on 50 million users via a personality prediction app, created by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan.
In the post, the US-based firm said it would investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before it changed its platform in 2014 to reduce data access, and would conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity.
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Facebook said it was changing the login process in a way that would reduce the data that an app can seek.