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Data protection: Parliament’s joint panel summons FB, Twitter

A joint committee of Parliament on Friday issued summons to Facebook in order to seek its “oral evidence” on the issues of data protection and privacy. Twitter too is said to have been directed for an appearance next week.

The joint committee led by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi has 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha.

The agenda of Friday’s meeting read: “Oral evidence by the representatives of Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.”

However, the summon to Facebook and Twitter is strictly pertaining to the issue of citizen’s personal data protection.

The summons to Twitter assumes significance as these come close to the Centre’s letter to the microblogging site’s chief Jack Dorsey.

Taking a strong exception to the “misrepresentation” of India’s map, the government wrote a stern letter to the Twitter CEO, saying that any attempt by the platform to disrespect the sovereignty and integrity of India, which is also reflected by the maps, was totally unacceptable.

Last month, amid severe criticism of Facebook and the Union government over the alleged collusion of Facebook India executive Ankhi Das and the BJP, Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote a hard-hitting letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, blaming the Facebook India management for alleged bias against people supporting the right-of-center ideology.

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