New Delhi, Mar 23: The government on Friday issued a notice to political data analytics firm – Cambridge Analytica – that has been accused of stealing data from Facebook to allegedly influence electoral process. The Ministry of Information Technology issued a notice to Cambridge Analytica seeking details of its India clients besides other information. Also Read - After 'Bois Locker Room' Fiasco, Facebook Updates Messenger to Protect Minor Users From Harmful Chats
Cambridge Analytica, which worked with US President Donald Trump’s election team, was accused of harvesting millions of Facebook profiles of US voters. The firm has allegedly been using Facebook users’ data to unfairly influence election results by psychological manipulation, entrapment techniques and fake news campaigns. Also Read - Facebook-acquired Instagram Now Has 'Messenger Rooms' Group Video Chat Feature
After the reports of Facebook data theft emerged, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad warned Facebook and its CEO of strong action. “Zuckerberg you better note the observation of the IT Minister of India. We welcome the FB profile in India, but if any data theft of Indians is done through the collusion of FB system, it shall not be tolerated. We have got stringent power in the IT Act, we shall use it, including summoning you in India,” the minister threatened. Also Read - Facebook Workplace Adds 2 Million More Paid Users Since October
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday admitted that the social media giant “made mistakes” over the scandal and a “breach of trust” had occurred between it and its users. Cambridge Analytica is now being probed in the US for the company’s role inTrump’s presidential election campaign.
A huge political controversy erupted in India over Facebook’s data breach, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress accusing each other of having links with Cambridge Analytica. While the BJP slammed the Congress reportedly roping in Cambridge Analytica to run its 2019 election campaign, the latter accused the ruling party of having availed services of the controversial firm in 2010.