New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) India will decide on the final action in the Facebook data breach case after it receives the response from Cambridge Analytica (CA), a government source said today.
The UK-based CA has been accused of mining personal information of millions of Facebook users illegally to help political campaigns and influence polls in several countries.
The Indian government has already sent notices to both the companies seeking detailed explanation on whether any misuse of data took place to profile Indians and influence their voting behaviour.
The US-based Facebook admitted earlier in the day that 5.62 lakh people in India were potentially affected by the global data leak, involving CA. Facebook has over 20 crore users in India.
The source confirmed that the government has received the reply from Facebook acknowledging that data of Indian users may have been compromised, and added this makes it all the more important to wait for Cambridge Analytica’s response now.
Incidentally, CA has sought an additional week to send in its responses to the Government, pushing back the original deadline to April 7.
The government will decide on the final action in the Facebook case only after it gets CA’s response, the source added.
A high-powered panel under Justice B N Srikrishna (former judge of Supreme Court) is slated to meet tomorrow to deliberate on various issues related to evolving a robust data protection framework for the country, the source pointed out.
Facebook had yesterday admitted that data on about 87 million people mostly in the US may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.
The social media giant has said that while 335 people in India were directly affected through an app installation, another 562,120 people were potentially affected as friends of those users.
“This yields a total of 562,455 potentially affected people in India, which is 0.6 per cent of the global number of potentially affected people,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
The company said it is “investigating” the specific number of people whose information was accessed, including those in India. It has also emphasised that the CA’s use of such data did not have its consent.
The past few days have seen a global outrage over the breach of user data on Facebook, forcing the company to issue public apology.
Facebook’s data breach scandal also sparked a furore in India with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month warning the firm of “stringent” action for any attempt to influence polls through data theft and threatening to summon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, if needed.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.