iconimg Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, January 09, 2014
The Election Commission has decided not to pursue its proposed tie-up with internet giant Google after concerns over national security were raised from several quarters, including major parties. US-based Google had earlier this week made a formal presentation to the Election Commission proposing a tie-up with it for voter facilitation services ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

The commission, in its meeting in New Delhi on Thursday which was attended by chief election commissioner VS Sampath and election commissioners HS Brahma and SNA Zaidi, deliberated on the issue and decided not to go ahead.

"After due consideration, the commission has decided not to pursue it any further," said an EC official.

The EC said Google had proposed to provide electoral look up services for citizens to help in Commission's efforts for better electoral information services.

The commission had earlier signed a non-disclosure agreement with Google but had not shared or handed over any data to the internet giant so far and was deliberating on the tie-up with it for using its search engines for voter facilitation.

The Congress and the BJP besides some cyberspace experts had voiced concerns over the proposed tie-up, saying stakeholders should have been consulted before a decision.

The Congress legal cell has written to the chief election commissioner raising security concerns over the proposed tie- up and hoped it will not have any effect on the electoral process and national security.

The BJP also expressed concerns and said the issue could have been discussed first at an all-party meeting by EC.
Questioning the EC's move, a group of cyber security experts had written to the panel amid concerns over sharing of vital data pertaining to Indians to a foreign company.

The concerns also come at a time when eyebrows have been raised over leaking of vital data of Indians to United States intelligence agencies as exposed by Edward Snowden.