RS Prasad assures probe in the Cambridge Analytica data breach case

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will probe the Cambridge Analytica data breach case.

The minister also said that the government is cognizant that social media platforms are being used as vehicles of weaponization against India’s strategic interests, economic stability and govt is committed to take suitable action to deter this.

Allegedly in the case data from nation’s electorates and, Facebook users were compromised by London-based political consultant Cambridge Analytica. Prasad while addressing the Rajya Sabha said, that the Central probe agency will investigate whether the British company violated laws to manipulate the electoral process during the 2014 general elections.

India, in March, slapped a notice on Cambridge Analytica to explain if it was engaged in improperly harvesting Facebook data of Indian citizens. But Cambridge Analytica announced its closure in a statement on its website and claimed it had been ‘vilified’ for activities that are legal and considered a standard component of online advertising.

“Cambridge Analytica has denied that data from Indians was breached, but Facebook has made a contradictory statement,” Prasad said in the Rajya Sabha.

“Notice also was sent to Facebook in March, and it promised to improve its internal processes regarding hacking of personal data. They also promised to take various other steps to ensure that such things don’t recur,” he added.

Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm embroiled in a scandal purportedly over its work for US President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, is alleged to have improperly obtained information from tens of millions of Facebook users to develop political ads.

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