Data Breach "Reality", But Can't Stop Social Media Policy: Poll Commission To NDTV

After Facebook data breach, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said a decision is expected next week.

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Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said on data breach issue, they will take a decision next week.

New Delhi:  In the backdrop of the shocking abuse of Facebook data and the subsequent political controversy, the Election Commission today said it "one cannot stop because of the breach" and it would continue its social media policy. Despite the allegations flying from both sides of the political divide, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat told NDTV that the panel has received no complaints yet from any political party about misuse of data in elections.

"We are examining the beach and what risks are involved. We will decide next week and take steps," Mr Rawat said. Acknowledging that the Commission needs to be "more careful to prevent risks in data breach", he also made it clear that stopping was not an option.

"We have to use the evolving technology to the best of voters and democracy. We have to prevent risks while using technology," Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat told NDTV.

Two days ago, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that the Congress has benefitted from the leakage of Facebook data of thousands of users in last year's Gujarat assembly election. There were also plans to use it to boost the image of its party chief Rahul Gandhi and for the 2019 general elections, he said.

The Congress accused the BJP and its ally JD(U) of getting help from Cambridge Analytica, a disgraced British data research firm, to win elections in 2010 and 2014.

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Mr Prasad's allegations came after it emerged that Cambridge Analytica has used Facebook database for psychological profiling of US voters, which was then used to help Donald Trump to win the Presidential elections.  

"We have no partnership with Facebook now. The partnership with Facebook will be discussed with the commission," Mr Rawat said.

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