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CBI Analysing 'Additional Details' Given by Cambridge Analytica, Facebook in Data Harvesting Probe

The CBI had sought information from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica based in the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively, on the data collection methods adopted by the latter.

PTI

Updated:October 31, 2019, 8:31 PM IST
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CBI Analysing 'Additional Details' Given by Cambridge Analytica, Facebook in Data Harvesting Probe
File photo of CBI headquarters in New Delhi. (PTI)

New Delhi: Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have provided additional information sought by the CBI in its probe pertaining to personal data harvesting of Indian voters from the social networking platform, which is being analysed by the agency, officials said on Thursday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had initiated a preliminary enquiry against Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research last year over alleged data mining of voters from Facebook platforms after a reference from the Centre in this regard, they said.

The agency had sought information from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica based in the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively, on the data collection methods adopted by the latter, the officials said.

Based on the details received in the reply, the CBI had dispatched more questions with some "specific queries" to the companies earlier this year, which have been provided by them, they said.

It is alleged that Cambridge Analytica received data from the Global Science Research, which employed "illegal means" of personal data harvesting of Indians using Facebook, they said. Facebook has more than 20 crore users in India.

Even after a year of preliminary enquiry, the agency is yet to decide whether it can proceed with a full-fledged criminal investigation in the case, sources said.

A preliminary enquiry is the first step to decide whether the allegations deserve a full-blown investigation through an FIR or not, they said.

Data mining and analysis firm Cambridge Analytica earlier faced allegations that it used personal information harvested from 87 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election.

Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had told Rajya Sabha in July last year that the probe will be handed over to the CBI.

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