Facebook row: CBI books UK-based Cambridge Analytica for illegally harvesting personal data of Indians

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New Delhi | January 22, 2021 11:36 AM

Notably, the CBI had initiated an inquiry against the two firms in 2018 for illegally harvesting personal data of Indian Facebook users.

facebookFacebook is arguing that the new rules by Apple will severely impact people and the consumers, app developers and small businesses can lose out.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against UK-based Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research firm for illegally harvesting data of lakhs of Indian Facebook users. The case pertains to the alleged illegal harvesting of personal data of over 5.6 lakh Facebook users in India.

Notably, the investigation agency had initiated an inquiry against the two firms in 2018 for illegally harvesting personal data of Indian Facebook users.

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier informed Parliament that CBI would be launching a probe into the alleged Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data theft case. The data was allegedly used to influence Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in India.

The minister had alleged that the Congress had roped in Cambridge Analytica to run the party’s 2019 election campaign. However, Congress had refuted all the charges.

Cambridge Analytica was accused of obtained data of over 50 million Facebook users via illegal means. Cambridge Analytica is an arm of SCL Group which is a government and military contractor.

According to a New York Times report, Cambridge Analytica was created in 2013 with a focus on US elections. It had the backing of Republican donor Robert Mercer who is said to have contributed around $15 million to the firm.

In 2019, the US regulators had found that British consultancy Cambridge Analytica deceived Facebook users to collect their personal information. The US Federal Trade Commission said its investigation launched in March 2018 concluded that the now-defunct political consulting firm had engaged in deceptive practices to harvest personal information from tens of millions of Facebook users for voter profiling and targeting.

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