Breaking News
1. More than 200 arrested in Kenya protests over proposed tax hikes in finance bill      2. South Korea orders doctors who joined protracted strike over medical school plan to return to work      3. Putin in North Korea to boost defence ties      4. Mumbai-bound IndiGo flight from Chennai receives bomb threat message      5. Russia's drone attack on Lviv region injures one, Ukraine's official says      6. PM Modi to inaugurate Nalanda University campus in Bihar today      7. Delhi’s peak power crosses 8000 MW, highest ever in history of national capital      8. PM Modi insugurates PM-Kisan scheme      9. I consider farmers, women, as strong pillars of Viksit Bharat: PM Modi in Varanasi      10. Over 30,000 support groups receive Krishi Sakhi, says PM Modi      11. Maharashtra core team held meeting with central leadership      12. Rahul Gandhi resigns from Wayanad      13. After the accident, Kanchanjunga Express arrives at Sealdah station; food and medical assistance provided.      14. PM Modi to visit Varanasi today, release 17th PM-Kisan instalment      15. Two key Democrats in US Congress approve major arms sale to Israel, Washington Post reports      16. Nikhil Gupta will now face justice in American courtroom, says US attorney general      17. Judge orders railway to pay Washington tribe nearly $400 million for trespassing with oil trains      18. Australian PM flags 'concern' over Chinese actions at media event      19. ‘Good players, but not good as team’: Babar unfiltered on reason for T20 WC exit      20. Kichcha Sudeep reacts to Kannada actor Darshan's arrest in murder case     

India’s polls turn into the ‘world’s biggest data mine’ as parties cash in on the voter data

  • Posted on May 27, 2024
  • News
  • By TSW NEWS DESK
  • 152 Views

Indian parties exploit the lack of data laws to amass personal voter info and micro-target citizens at unprecedented levels ahead of elections, raising privacy and election fairness concerns.

1716807838-VB7wS9eJIz.png

Indian political parties are leveraging India’s high smartphone penetration and absence of data protection legislation to accumulate highly intrusive amounts of data on the electorate, say analysts. In the current general election campaigns, parties have been buying user data from applications and internet-based organizations to compile a dossier of the citizens’ demography, preferences, and activities.

”India came into this year of elections as the biggest possible data mine in the world,” said political strategist Rutwik Joshi, who is advising over a dozen candidates. These words are: “With the data available, we can predict how you will vote – these predictions rarely go wrong. ”

Campaigns and parties are employing the data to sell their messages, advertisements, and campaigns to the targeted voters at the neighborhood level. Information such as religion, eating habits, and the type of messages posted on social media is being used to decide where a candidate should canvass, what speech to deliver, and what dress code to wear.

When legally obtaining user data from apps and websites, privacy advocates argue that the practices are a form of civil rights violation and can lead to abuses by future governments against their political opponents. There are also fears that both Indian agencies and foreign actors may use the data for “computational propaganda” and tilt the election in their favor through disinformation.

India does not have a single law on data protection; it came up with limited legislation last year and has not put it into practice. Some analysts have argued that compared to other democracies, regulatory bodies have not set clear rules on how voter data can be collected and processed.

It is the wild, wild west – except on the internet,” said researcher Srinivas Kodali. “We’re not witnessing the Election Commission developing the right measures to counter data and microtargeting, as many other countries have done. ”

Also Read: Britain’s PM Sunak has declared an early general election for 4th July 2019

With India’s polls taking place in the world’s largest democracy, the issue of whether the unrestricted use of personal data has eroded principles of free and fair elections remains up for debate.

Author
No Image
Author
TSW NEWS DESK

You May Also Like