5.6 lakh Indians hit by CA data theft, admits Facebook
After the Centre recently issued notices to social media giant Facebook and UK-based Cambridge Analytica on the data breach issue, Facebook on Thursday disclosed that 5.62 lakh people in India were “potentially affected” by the leak episode.
The Union Ministry of Electronics and IT had asked Facebook to inform whether the personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by Cambridge Analytica or any other entities. The Ministry also sought to know whether the data has been used to manipulate the Indian electoral process. Facebook had been given time till April 7, 2018, to respond to the letter.
Data mining firm Analytica has been accused of harvesting personal information of over millions of Facebook users illegally to influence polls in several countries.
Facebook had on Wednesday admitted that data on about 87 million people — mostly in the US — may have been improperly shared with Analytica.
A Facebook spokesperson said while 335 people in India were directly affected
through an app installation, another 5,62,120 people were potentially affected as friends of those users.
“This yields a total of 5,62,455 potentially affected people in India, which is 0.6 per cent of the global number of potentially affected people,” Facebook spokesperson added.
The company said it is “investigating” the specific number of people whose information was accessed, including those in India The past few days have seen a global outrage over the breach of user data on Facebook, forcing the company to issue an public apology
Facebook’s data breach scandal also sparked a furore in India with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month warning the firm of “stringent” action for any attempt to influence polls through data theft and threatening to summon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, if needed.
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