Government issues notice to Cambridge Analytica over Facebook data breach

Prime News, National (New Delhi), March 24:- In the wake of alleged misuse of user data on Facebook, the government on Saturday issued a notice to UK-based Cambridge Analytica, asking it to give a list of clients and the source of data collected.

The notice comes amid reports that political parties had used the data analytics firm during elections.

The IT Ministry has asked Cambridge Analytica – the firm at the centre of Facebook data breach scandal – to respond by March 31 on six questions. The questions include how the company had collected user data, whether consent was taken from the individuals, and how the data was used.

The move assumes significance as the BJP, earlier this week, had questioned links between the Congress and Cambridge Analytica, the data mining firm accused of harvesting personal information from Facebook illegally to influence polls in several countries.

On Wednesday, Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad warned the social media giant Facebook of stringent action for any attempt to influence polls through data theft. Prasad had even threatened to summon its CEO Mark Zuckerberg if needed.

Taking a stern view of reports on the misuse of user data obtained from social media platform Facebook, the IT Ministry in a statement said, “breach of privacy cannot be tolerated.”

“The government is deeply concerned about such developments and is committed to ensuring the protection of the fundamental right to privacy and safety and security of data for every citizen of India,” the ministry added.

The IT Ministry said it had issued a notice to Cambridge Analytica “wherein the serious breach of propriety and misuse of data intended to profile and influence voting behaviour has been highlighted”.

“…The notice addressed to Cambridge Analytica seeks an immediate response to the following questions…Whether they have been engaged in any assignment to utilise data of Indians from the above-cited breach. Who are the entities that have engaged them for the above,” it said. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).



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