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Government issues notice to Cambridge Analytica

The building housing the Cambridge Analytica office is seen in central London on March 23, 2018.

The building housing the Cambridge Analytica office is seen in central London on March 23, 2018.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

U.K.-based firm is accused of misusing data of 50 million Facebook users.

The government has sent a notice to U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica — accused of misusing data of 50 million Facebook users — asking it to disclose if data of Indian users was used, and to name the entities that used their services.

The firm has been asked to reply by March 31.

“The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India has issued a notice, in the first instance, to Cambridge Analytica, wherein the serious breach of propriety and misuse of data intended to profile and influence voting behaviour has been highlighted,” an official statement said.

 

Political parties in India, including the ruling BJP and the Congress, have accused each other of engaging the services of Cambridge Analytica, leading to questions over influencing elections “through questionable means.”

“The fairness of Indian democracy and electoral process is a matter of pride and any attempt to influence the sanctity of the electoral franchise through dubious and questionable means is unacceptable,” the Ministry of Electronics and IT said in a statement.

The notice addressed to Cambridge Analytica seeks immediate response to six questions, including “whether they have been engaged in any assignment to utilise data of Indians from the above cited breach? Who are the entities that have engaged them for the above?”

They have also been asked to clarify how they came to be in possession of such data? And was consent taken from the individuals?

“How such data collected was used? Was there any profiling done on the basis of such data?,” the Ministry asked.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:19:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/government-issues-notice-to-cambridge-analytica/article23336476.ece

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