Cambridge Analytica flouted law by illegally acquiring user data, says ASG

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New Delhi | Updated: August 7, 2018 7:42:59 AM

The government has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe Cambridge Analytica.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) had earlier sought legal opinion from the ASG on violations by Cambridge Analytica for filing an FIR against the company under various laws including the IT Act and the Representation of the People Act. (Reuters)

The government has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe Cambridge Analytica (CA) after the additional solicitor general (ASG) in its report last month said the now-closed British firm had violated the Information Technology Act by illegally acquiring data of Indian citizens and recommended an inquiry to ascertain whether it had influenced elections through psychographic profiling of citizens.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) had earlier sought legal opinion from the ASG on violations by Cambridge Analytica for filing an FIR against the company under various laws including the IT Act and the Representation of the People Act.

“ASG has got back to us stating that CA has violated sections like 43 (a) read with section 66 of the IT Act by illegally acquiring user data from Global Scientific Research (GSR). It has also violated section 66B of the IT Act,” the official said.

GSR developed an app – thisisyourdigitallife – which used Facebook’s login service to take consent from users to access data. User data collected by this app was shared with CA.

On May 10, Facebook in its response to MeitY said the data shared by GSR and its owner, Aleksandr Kogan, with the British data analytics firm was without permission and violated its platform policy. The app is believed to have impacted 5.62 lakh Indians, including 335 people, who had installed the app.

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