5.62 lakh Indian Facebook users’ data stolen, CBI files case against Cambridge Analytica

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New Delhi, January 22, 2021: CBI has registered an FIR against Cambridge Analytica Limited and Global Science Private Limited in connection with the theft of data of 5.62 lakh Facebook users in India.

The CBI started a preliminary inquiry in 2018. After the allegations were proved correct, the investigating agency registered a case against these UK companies.

According to the CBI, information was sought from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica for alleged breach of data, data theft limits of Indian users, profiling and possible data misuse of the company to find out the allegations of data theft. It was likely to be used during the last elections in India.

What did facebook say?  

Facebook had replied that the data of 5.62 lakh Indian users were taken illegally. Cambridge Analytica, on the other hand, replied that they had only received data from UK users from Global Science Private Limited.

What was found in the CBI investigation? 

The CBI investigation revealed that Dr Aleksandr Kogan, the founder and director of Global Science Pvt Ltd, had created an application named “thisisyourdigitallife”. According to Facebook’s platform policy, this application was allowed to collect some specific data of users for educational and research purposes. However, this application also illegally collected the data of the network of Facebook users and their friends.

How many people used the app?

Facebook told the CBI that 335 users used this application in India. But through this application, friends of these users were also targeted and the data of 5.62 lakh people were stolen without their information.

According to the CBI, Global Science Research Ltd, along with Cambridge Analytica, committed a criminal conspiracy in 2014 and gave Cambridge Analytica the right to use illegally stolen data for commercial purposes.

The CBI has registered a case against these two UK companies for criminal conspiracy and violation of IT laws.