Mumbai: Hours after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologised over the hijacking of its user data by Cambridge Analytica, Union Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Congress President Rahul Gandhi should also apologise for allegedly using the leaked data to swing poll results in India.
Taking to Twitter, the Union minister said that Cambridge Analytica's role in manipulating elections is clear and Facebook has given an assurance "to stop it and maintain integrity of India's elections".
Now that Cambridge Analytica‘s role in manipulating elections is clear & Facebook has assured to stop it and maintain integrity of India’s elections, probity demands that @RahulGandhi should apologise & promise not to manipulate voters and divide the society in future! https://t.co/xo4iJUJsBw— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) April 11, 2018
On Tuesday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told the US Congress that he took personal responsibility for the leak of data on tens of millions of its users, and assured the senate that his company will do "everything" to ensure the upcoming elections in India and other countries are safe.
"2018 is an incredibly important year for elections. Not just in the US mid-terms, but, around the world, there are important elections -- in India, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan and Hungary -- and we want to make sure we do everything we can to protect the integrity of these elections," the Facebook founder and CEO said.
The Facebook chief has been under mounting pressure over the hijacking of its user data by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultant firm.
Cambridge Analytica is reported to have been involved in "all kind of projects" in India and had major political parties like Congress as it clients. Christopher Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, had told a British parliamentary committee that the British firm even has an office in India.
"I believe their client was Congress. But I know that they have done all kind of projects. I don't remember any national project, but regionally... India is so big that one state can be the size of Britain. They do have offices there, staff there. I believe I have some documentation on India which I can provide if you're interested," 28-year-old Mark Zuckerberg said.
There have been allegations that Cambridge Analytica data has been used by other parties in India too.
(With inputs from PTI)