India partner ending links with CA

India partner ending links with CA

NEW DELHI, DHNS: Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI), the India partner of Cambridge Analytica (CA), on Thursday said it is "looking to end" its association with the global company, which is at the centre of allegations of misusing user data for campaigns.

The OBI, which is owned by senior JD(U) leader K C Tyagi's son Amrish, found itself in the media glare following its association with CA and reports of it working for BJP, Congress and JD(U) in different elections. The association has also put the focus on Tyagi.

In a statement, the OBI said it was not denying its association with Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), the parent company of CA, or CA itself.

It said OBI was a ground research company closely working with various media houses and did not undertake any project with CA related to social media, especially Facebook.

"We are equally shocked and surprised to see the data breach controversy and we are also looking to end our association with them," the OBI vice president Himanshi Sharma said.

"We again want to clarify that neither the whistleblower nor Facebook has confirmed that there is any kind of data breach in India," he said. Sharma's LinkedIn profile claimed that OBI handled BJP's four election campaigns.

The company had claimed that its clients included BJP, Congress, JD (U), ICICI Bank, and Airtel. SCL and OBI had joined hands to form SCL India. However, OBI's website has been taken down now and it could not be accessed.

Amid reports that JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar has sought explanation from him, Tyagi, the party general secretary, told reporters that JD(U) has no connection with the CA.

"Neither JD (U) nor my son has got any kind of help from Cambridge Analytica. In any case, JD(U) is a socialist outfit and we stay away from such things, except for maybe Prashant Kishoreji helping us during the last Assembly polls," he said.

"There was only a work relation between my son Amrish's company and Cambridge Analytics. There is no financial transaction or shareholding - everything is open to probe. JD(U) also has no links with this, neither did they promote us in 2010 polls," he said.

Tyagi also asked Union Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad to initiate an inquiry into the allegations against Cambridge Analytica.

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