A parliamentary panel on Friday quizzed social media giant Facebook about the quantum of their revenue, profit and tax payouts in India and asked what portion of their earnings were being used for data security in the country, sources said.
Facebook India’s policy head Ankhi Das appeared before the Joint Committee of Parliament on Data Protection Bill, 2019 chaired by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.
She was questioned for two hours and asked some tough and searching questions by the panel members from across the political spectrum, sources said.
During the meeting, a member suggested that the social media platform should not draw inferences from the data of its users for commercial benefit of its advertisers or for electoral purposes, they said.
The MPs also sought to know the revenue Facebook generates from India and what percentage of the revenue is spent on safeguards for data protection, sources told PTI.
India is the biggest market for Facebook in terms of its users.
The panel also asked how much tax the social media giant pays in India, they said.
During the meeting, concerns were also raised about the allegations that majority of the employees of the social media giant in the United States were inclined towards one specific political party of the country.
Meawhile, Facebook said that the data protection law has potential to propel the country’s digital economy and global digital trade.
“We deeply appreciate the opportunity to discuss data regulation issues with the Hon’ble Members of Joint Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill. We believe that India’s data protection law has the potential to propel the country’s digital economy and global digital trade, and we wholeheartedly support this effort,” a company spokesperson said.
Last month, Facebook India head Ajit Mohan had appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, on the alleged misuse of social media platforms.
The panel had called Facebook to hear about a report published in the Wall Street Journal claiming that the social media platform ignored applying its hate-speech rules in India.