Facebook says 5.62 lakh Indians affected in data scandal
New Delhi: The government will decide on the action to be taken in the Facebook data leak case only after receiving a response from London-based analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA), a spokesperson for the information technology ministry said on Thursday.
“We have received response from Facebook confirming that around 5 lakh accounts of Indian users have been accessed. Any action on the matter will be taken by the government once we receive response from Cambridge Analytica,” said the spokesperson.
US-based social media giant Facebook informed the government on Thursday that “only 335 people” in India were directly affected through the installation of an app and another 562,120 people were “potentially affected” as FB friends of those users. Facebook has over 20 crore users in India.
The social media company said the figure of 562,455 was 0.6% of the global number of potentially affected people.
“Cambridge Analytica’s acquisition of Facebook data through the app developed by Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research Limited (GSR) happened without our authorization and was an explicit violation of our platform policies,” a Facebook spokesperson said on Thursday.
At no time did Facebook agree to Cambridge Analytica’s use of any Facebook user data that may have been collected by this app, including with respect to users located in India, the spokesperson added.
Last week, the government wrote to Facebook Inc. seeking replies from the company on queries regarding Indian data on the social media platform. The government had sent five questions to the company and sought a response by 7 April.
Queries to Cambridge Analytica were sent on 23 March and the government warned of legal action if it did not hear back by 31 March. The company sought a week’s extension of the deadline.