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In May, Cambridge Analytica shut down its operations after being accused of illegally harvesting data of 87 million Facebook users. Photo: iStock
In May, Cambridge Analytica shut down its operations after being accused of illegally harvesting data of 87 million Facebook users. Photo: iStock

CBI writes to Facebook, Cambridge Analytica over data breach

The CBI begins preliminary enquiry against Cambridge Analytica and Global Sciences Research for suspected breach of Indian Facebook users' data

New Delhi: A month after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a preliminary enquiry against Cambridge Analytica for alleged data theft, the agency, on Monday, wrote to Facebook (US), Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research (GSR), seeking more information on the matter. The agency had begun a preliminary enquiry against Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research for suspected breach of Indian Facebook users’ data, a CBI official said, requesting anonymity.

“CBI has written to Facebook (US), Cambridge Analytica and GSR in the case of the alleged data leak. A preliminary investigation has also been registered. This is being done to probe if Cambridge Analytica had picked data from Global Science Research (GSR) Ltd, which relates to the personal data of Indians on Facebook. The probe will see if data was harvested and misused," another person familiar with the development said on the condition of anonymity.

In July, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had informed the parliament that the government had asked the CBI to investigate the issue. “It is suspected that Cambridge Analytica may have been involved in illegally obtaining data of Indians which could be misused." In May, Cambridge Analytica had shut down its operations after being accused of illegally harvesting data of 87 million Facebook users, including half a million in India.

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