Facebook on Wednesday said it would engage with the Indian government after IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad threatened to summon its CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the alleged harvesting and use of personal data from the social media giant to influence voters in the country. In a brief statement following Prasad's media conference here, a Facebook spokesperson said the firm appreciated the concerns raised by the minister. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also told CNN that it "was committed to stopping interference in the U.S. midterm election in November and elections in India and Brazil."
"Minster Ravi Shankar Prasad has raised several important questions. We appreciate his attention to this matter and we will continue to engage with the government on this matter. "We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect peoples' information and will take whatever steps are required that this happens."
The Facebook statement came after Prasad warned Facebook of stringent action if any attempt was made to influence India electoral process through "undesirable means". "Zuckerberg you better note the observation of the IT Minister of India. We welcome the FB profile in India, but if any data theft of Indians is done through the collusion of FB system, it shall not be tolerated. We have got stringent power in the IT Act, we shall use it, including summoning you in India," the minister threatened.
The social media network is currently being probed in the US and Britain over a possible breach of user confidentiality by allegedly allowing a London-based data consultancy firm to use its data and influence election outcomes world over.