Union IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that Cambridge Analytica data breach case will be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Responding to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha, the minister in the Modi government, Prasad said that number of incidents leading to loss of innocent lives have occurred recently, adding that they are painful and a matter of regret for the government. He further added that Centre has taken prompt action in this matter. He said social media company Facebook has been asked to submit its response in the alleged data breach.
The CBI will investigate whether personal data from Indian voters and Facebook users were compromised by British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The matter had triggered a controversy with opposition parties blaming the government for selling Indian voters data to Cambridge Analytica. The Congress alleged that BJP hired Ovleno, Cambridge Analytica’s partner in India, for its successful campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Various media reports claimed that JDU leader KC Tyagi’s son Amish Tyagi was associated with Ovleno and had worked as chief executive of Cambridge Analytica’s partner in India.
Reacting to the opposition parties allegations, Ravi Shankar Prasad had alleged that Cambridge Analytica was running a political campaign for Congress president Rahul Gandhi. According to the Cambridge Analytica website, the company’s India partner had worked with the BJP, Congress and Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United.
In March, the Narendra Modi government had issued a notice to Cambridge asking for its response in the alleged data breach case. In May, the controversial British political consulting firm Cambridge Anayalytica announced that it is shutting down its operations.