Science & Technology

CBI Initiates Probe In Data Breach Case, Writes To Cambridge Analytica, Facebook & GSR Global

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 1
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| September 17 , 2018 , 19:16 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday wrote to Facebook, UK based GSR ( Global Science Research) and Cambridge Analytica to seek information regarding the alleged data breach of Indian Facebook Users.

Data mining and analysis firm Cambridge Analytica earlier faced allegations that it used personal information harvested from 87 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election.

Earlier in July this year, United Kingdom's data protection watchdog announced a fine of £500,000 on Facebook for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It is the biggest penalty imposed on any social network under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had told Rajya Sabha in July that the probe would be handed over to the CBI. He had said there were also reports that user data was "illegally accessed by hardware manufacturers who had tie-ups with Facebook. In regard to this issue, Facebook has reported that they are not aware of any misuse of information, including Indian users' information".

Earlier in April, the investigation agency had conducted a preliminary enquiry into the matter after a request from the Ministry of Information Technology. The PI was conducted to ascertain that whether GSR and Cambridge Analytica had illegally harvested and misused the data of Indian Facebook users.

Admitting the alleged breach, Facebook had in April said that about 5.62 lakh Indians might have been potentially affected in the Cambridge Analytica case.