Consent Is Not Manufactured: Doctoring Elections through Technology

Technology is being used to rig the elections today, tomorrow what will it do?

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder and CEO of Facebook was quoted as saying this earlier, since the Cambridge Analytica pot started to brew. The author in an article in a post on this tabloid had the opportunity of discussing the idea that social media may be used to manufacture the outcome of elections as well.

Well, the concerns were not far enough but yes they were pretty evident, and now a British firm, Cambridge Analytica has been found to have been involved in collecting data from 50 million facebook accounts to map trends of the society to produce desired results to yield in doctored results.

Such an exercise has been declared by Chris Wylie, Co-founder and Data Scientist at Cambridge Analytica says that our governments and legislators must talk about the things that are common and have existed for decades in the technosphere, and are now affecting the democratic exercise of elections too!

The tool of Social Engineering was used to feed on the political nature of man, and inflict a sense of confidence in the identification of groups that collectively assess their will to bestow the reigns of administration of a democracy in a chosen class of the people.  Thus, data analysis or political consultancy firms such as Cambridge Analytica use the jurisdictions like India where there is non-existent data protection mechanism, which may be used to psychologically culture the consumer to produce the desired results by the client of the consultancy.

There has been an involvement of the firm in the election of Donald Trump, and there is a possibility that the upcoming elections in India and Brazil may also face similar fate. There is just one registered firm, which conducted its operations in India through a firm owned by KC Tyagi’s  (of the JD(U)) son, which had the INC, BJP and JD(U) as its clients.

The anomaly of the entire data protection is that the Indian cyber law regime is very outdated, while the Supreme Court is tasked with dealing with the question of efficacy of Aadhar and the use data by the state, there is authority ensuring the protection of data, which may be used by the tech giants.

The tech giants today, are making the people suspicious of the state, and Indian state is not the one that is lucky enough to be trusted, yet the privacy credentials, and data collection is rampant. The aadhar data leak that was brought to light by the Tribune,is also just one small fish in the pond.

The private companies that access the data, and when the State colludes with them, may be deadly concoction which may not command good responses from the civil society and there will persist a  threat perpetual surveillance.

Thus, our Supreme Court has acknowledged the fact that the privacy is a fundamental right, then the state will have to put a mechanism in place to ensure that data fishing, collection and storage by private as well as government agencies is regulated, also the devices are made complaint to the norms laid down by the community.



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