General elections in India are scheduled for May 2014 and more than 700 million people will be heading to polling stations.
Concerned over lack of privacy and snooping, the Commission Election of India (CEI) decided not to select Google as a partner to create an online voter registration tool.
Google had pitched a project to the Election Commission to create a simpler and faster search tool for voters to check whether they were registered correctly or not.
However, the commission has put their foot down and rejected the tech giant. Keeping in mind that online registration would have the voters’ card numbers and polling locations, their fears are not baseless.
“Google made a presentation to the Commission for electoral look up services for citizens... However, after due consideration, the Commission has decided not to pursue the proposal any further,” Dhirendra Ojha, the director of the commission said in a statement on Thursday.
Other American tech firms have also lost business in after Edward-Snowden blew the whistle on NSA’s spying. Major tech companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn and AOL have launched a Reform Government Surveillance (RGS) coalition, demanding heavy restrictions on the NSA’s surveillance abilities.
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U.S President Barack Obama has been consulting intelligence officials and congressional leaders as he nears the final stages of a review over how much to rein in U.S. surveillance practices. He is said to unveil a series of intelligence reforms later this month.
The reforms may or may not bring the change needed for online privacy, but the lack of faith among internet users will be hard to restore.