Preliminary probe against Cambridge Analytica begins

CA was earlier in the eye of a storm as it faced allegations that it used personal information harvested from 87 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election. Reuters file photo

The CBI has launched a preliminary enquiry against Cambridge Analytica (CA) and Global Science Research (GSR) following allegations of illegally harvesting personal data of Indians from Facebook.

Officials said the enquiry has been initiated after the CBI received a reference from the Union government. A preliminary enquiry is not a regular FIR but a first step to see whether it demands a further investigation.

It is claimed that CA received data from GSR, which used “illegal means” of personal data harvesting of Indians using Facebook, officials said.

CA was earlier in the eye of a storm as it faced allegations that it used personal information harvested from 87 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election.

The CBI probe came as Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Rajya Sabha that the probe will be handed over to the premier investigating agency. Prasad said CA did not respond to government notices beyond that the data of Indians had not been breached.

“Cambridge Analytica, on the other hand gave initial response that the data of the Indians were not breached but this was not in conformity with what was reported by Facebook. It also did not respond to the subsequent notices, therefore it is suspected that Cambridge Analyitca may have been involved in illegally obtaining data of Indians which could be misused,” Prasad said in Rajya Sabha.

Following this announcement, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) wrote to the CBI demanding a probe against the company.

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Preliminary probe against Cambridge Analytica begins

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