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

Manmohan Singh favours ‘time-tested measures’ for economy

The much hyped ‘double engine’ model of governance on which the BJP is seeking votes has utterly failed, and Mumbai and Maharashtra have had to face some of the worst effects of economic slowdown, former prime minister Manmohan Singh has said. A lot of problems facing Maharashtra

“If the oppn is weak you can’t blame the govt for that”

A three-term Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut is the Shiv Sena spokesperson and its voice in parliament. He is also the executive editor of Marathi newspaper Samana, started by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. Raut spoke with Geetanjali Minhas on his party’s seat-sharing agreement

Ashish Shelar of BJP says, “We are very confident of victory”

Ashish Shelar, 47, was the president of the Mumbai city unit of the BJP, before he became the minister of school education, sports and youth welfare in the Maharashta government this year. He has represented the Vandre West constituency in the state assembly and seeking re-election. In a chat with

Nobel for economics goes to `global fight against poverty`

The Nobel Prize in economics for 2019 goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." The prize, known as “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”, was announc

Modi-Xi script a new chapter in bilateral relations

Prime minister Narendra Modi has accepted president Xi Jinping’s invitation to visit China in 2020 for their third informal summit after Wuhan and Mamallapuram, indicating both sides’ realization of the importance of the mechanism which gives the two leaders of the Asian giants an opportunity t

Dharma as the original Idea of India

Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter