New Delhi: With Lok Sabha elections just a few weeks away, Union Minister of Law and Justice and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said that while India is open to social media platforms, it has no place for "data imperialism."
Speaking at a session titled ‘India Ahoy: Growth and Gumption’ at the News18 Network's Rising India Summit 2019, Prasad addressed the reason behind the data theft that had rattled the nation after the Facebook controversy broke out last year.
"Data imperialism will not be accepted. The Election Commission will not allow any misuse of Indians' data in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections," Prasad said, adding that all social media platforms are welcome in India but data abuse will not be "tolerated."
The law minister also stated that the data protection bill "which the entire world is looking forward to" is "almost ready."
"We have had four to five rounds of consultations with the state governments, the Srikrishna Committee and ministries. Only nuts and bolts need to be tightened. We will allow platforms to deal with data but act as a trustee," he said, hinting that there cannot be a compromise with the data.
With elections round the corner, Prasad said that the "election mantra" of the BJP would only be the work that the government has done over the past four-and-a-half years. "The kind of work we have done in the last four years is a great example of how we have changed the narrative of India," said Prasad.
He further stated that India's digital transformation is happening. "It is the low cost technology for the masses. Look at e-governance etc. Today India's poor feels empowered.”
Hinting at how Prime Minister Narendra Modi would again sweep the Lok Sabha elections, Prasad said that "India of 2019 is not the India of 90s."
"This is not a time when the PM used to be there for 40 days or a couple of months. Now, nothing can stop India to be a global superpower. Indians want a leader who can take decisions. International community needs to see with a PM with a legitimate mandate," said Prasad.