Facebook committed to ensuring integrity of polls in India, say CEO Zuckerberg

Facebook data being used to interfere in the US elections, including India, say CEO Zuckerberg

NEW DELHI: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg, while expressing concern over the reports of Facebook data being used to interfere in the US elections, said that his organisation was committed to upholding the integrity of elections around the world, including India, said media reports.

In an interview to CNN, Zuckerberg acknowledged that there have been attempts by countries like Russia to interfere in elections in the United States and spelled out steps taken by his organisation to quell these attempts, said the reports.

“And we have a responsibility to do this, not only for the 2018 midterms in the USA, which are going to be a huge deal this year and that’s just a huge focus for us but there’s a big election in India this year, there’s a big election in Brazil, there are big elections around the world, and you can bet that we are really committed to doing everything that we need to make sure that the integrity of those elections on Facebook is secured,” he said in the interview to the US-based news channel.

Zuckerberg in his first public comments in a post on Facebook said that the company “made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.” He did not elaborate on what the mistakes were, but he said the social network plans to conduct an investigation of apps on its platform, restrict developer access to data, and give members a tool that lets them more easily disable access to their Facebook data, said the media reports.

The reference to elections in India came in response to a question on the actions taken by Facebook to curb the influence of external elements in the election processes of various countries.

The India government on Wednesday had warned Facebook of strict legal action if it is found misusing data, with law and information technology (IT) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying that under the IT Act, Facebook’s chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, can be summoned to India if required.

Zuckerberg has been facing criticism following allegations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed Facebook users’ information to build profiles on American voters which were later used to help elect US President Donald Trump in 2016, added the media reports.

Yesterday, the Facebook CEO had admitted mistakes in handling the private data of the users on his platform and outlined steps to protect it.