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

Don’t fear Corona, fight it

In a bid to break the “chain of transmission” of the deadly Covid-19, India, a country with more than 1.3 billion population, observed a voluntary ‘Janata Curfew’ on March 22. This has been followed by a 21-day, nationwide lockdown from March 24. Prime minister Narendra Modi also re

Sci-Tech Empowered Committee set up for COVID-19

To take speedy decisions on research and development for Sars-Cov-2 virus and COVID-19, the government has constituted a Science and Technology Empowered Committee. The committee, set up on March 19 and chaired by Niti Aayog member, professor Vinod Paul and professor K Vijay Raghavan, princi

Covid-19 and real estate: This could be last straw that broke camel’s back

Covid-19 may turn out to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back so far as the real estate sector is concerned. It broke out at a time when pundits were estimating the GDP to be hovering around 2.5% with unprecedent levels of unemployment. This itself was a good indicator that the real estate s

India ramps efforts as COVID-19 cases rise

As COVID -19 cases continue to rise amid a 21-day lockdown, the centre and the states are proactively taking measures to provide aid to the underprivileged and the needy during this unprecedented situation.         By Sunday morning, India had registered 27

Diplomacy in the time of Covid-19

In the thick of battle with the deadly coronavirus, India on March announced a 21-day lockdown till April 14 in its bid to control the spread of virus which has so far led to 10 people’s death and over 600 others falling sick across the country. As per experts, India, which is in the second stage of

Life hacks for Lockdown blues

As the nation battles the Coronavirus outbreak, a billion-plus population is confined at home in the 21-day lockdown, and this is leading to mental health concerns. “It is a tough time and we need to be stable to get thorough. People must rationalise their irrational thoughts without



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter