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 the Lok Sabha elections.

The Election Commission in its meeting held on Thursday deliberated on the issue and decided not to go ahead. Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath and Election Commissioners HS Brahma and SNA Zaidi were present in this meeting.

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

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

The Election 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 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, which has written to the Chief Election Commissioner raising security concerns over the proposed tie-up, 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 Election Commission.

Questioning the Election Commission’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.

(Agencies)

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