Govt asks Cambridge Analytica if it used Indian users’ data

The UK based firm has been asked to disclose name of entities with whom they have engaged in India

GN Bureau | March 24, 2018


#Mark Zuckerberg   #privacy   #data   #Facebook   #Cambridge Analytica   #Meity   #Ravi Shankar Prasad  
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

The ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY) has issued notice to Cambridge Analytica seeking its response on its alleged exploitation of Indian Facebook users data. The ministry has sought reply from the British political consulting firm by March 31.  

“The ministry has issued a notice, in the first instance, to Cambridge Analytica, wherein the serious breach of propriety and misuse of data intended to profile and influence voting behaviour has been highlighted,” the ministry said in a statement.  
 
“Reference has also been made to several accounts in the media reporting incidents of gross abuse of social media platform to influence the sanctity of polling process. Note has also been taken of alleged claims whereby elections in India were sought to be influenced through questionable means,” the ministry said.
 
On March 17, foreign media reported that Cambridge Analytica illegally collected and harvested data of 50 million Facebook users for profiling and micro-targeting intended to influence voter behaviour. The Indian media has reported that Cambridge Analytica’s Indian associate Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI), headed by Anish Tyagi, son of JD(U) leader KC Tyagi, has managed elections for the BJP and the Congress. The OBI portal mentions Congress and the BJP as its clients.  
 
It is interesting to note that the ministry hasn't issued notice to Facebook. In fact, it cited its founder Mark Zuckerberg’s apology in the ongoing data breach controversy. “In this regard it is pertinent to observe that the CEO of Facebook, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg has apologised for the mistakes his company had made in handling data belonging to its users, and has promised tougher steps to restrict access to such information,” the ministry said. 
 
There are other downstream players such as Cambridge Analytica and its alleged associates who have been reported to be involved in the data breach, it said.
 
“In particular, all intermediaries and their associates have the legal obligation to maintain security, confidentiality and sanctity of data and any unauthorized use of data can entail legal action,” the ministry said.
 
In its notice to Cambridge Analytica, the ministry sought responses to the following questions:
  • Whether they have been engaged in any assignment to utilize data of Indians from the above cited breach?
  • Who are the entities that have engaged them for the above?
  • How did they come to be in possession of such data?
  • Was consent taken from the individuals?
  • How such data collected was used?
  • Was there any profiling done on the basis of such data? 
 

Comments

 

Other News

Four trends that will shape healthcare post-Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and healthcare systems across the world. Even in the countries like the US that have the highest spend on healthcare and public health emergency preparedness, the impact of coronavirus pandemic on health and livelihoods of people has been tremendous. There are

India to play leading role in global revival: Modi

India would play a leading role in the global revival, prime minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, as he addressed the inaugural session of India Global week via video-conference. He said that this is closely linked with two factors. “First is - Indian talent and second is India`s

BMC spells out numbers to counter Fadnavis’ claims

The BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has countered Maharashtra leader of opposition Devendra Fadanvis’s suspicions of fewer Covid-19 tests, as it outlined various measures it has adopted since the first test conducted on February 3, and how it has gradually brought down the number of cases in

Mumbai opts for “most liberal Covid-19 testing” in the world

As part of the four T strategy of trace-test-track-treat, Mumbai – the most affected city in India – has decided to make Covid-19 tests accessible to all. The municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has come out with guidelines allowing all laboratories to conduct RT-PCR (

Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger

In a major development on July 6, the Chinese army started moving back its tents, vehicles as well as troops from locations where disengagement was agreed upon in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. This is a significant milestone in regional geopolitics with India having been successful in isolating the

Hiranandani Group launches ambitious data centre project

With the Covid-19 pandemic pushing more online activity and the capacity usage of data centres going up, India’s largest data centre (DC) building and the biggest tier-IV data centre, Yotta NM1,the  second largest in the world, has been launched in Mumbai. The launch event on Tue



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter