File photo. Photograph:( WION )
Facebook on Wednesday admitted that the company might have inappropriately shared information regarding Indian subscribers to tainted data firm Cambridge Analytica.
In a blog post, Facebook said that information about 562,455 subscribers in India — 0.6% of the complete count — may have been shared with the data firm that has worked with several Indian political parties for a long time. However, Facebook did not specify whether the company used that information for its clients.
Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer also said in that blog which ran under his byline on the company’s website, that the number of subscribers whose data was shared with the controversial political consultancy was much higher at 87 million than the 50 million it had conceded earlier.
These new revelations came ahead of a conference call with reporters in which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he had made a “huge mistake” personally by not focusing on data privacy.
Facebook has deployed technology tools like artificial intelligence and thousands of people to work on security as the company's "major focus" this year is to protect the integrity of upcoming elections in several countries, including India, on its platform, its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said.
Terming 2018 a "big year" for elections, Zuckerberg said Facebook was enhancing its security features to prevent trolls from spreading information.
"This is going to be a big year for elections ahead with the US midterms and elections in India, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Hungary and others. This is going to be a major focus for us," he said.
Several Indian states like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are scheduled to go for polls this year and the general elections are due in a little over a year from now.