CBI examining fresh details from Cambridge Analytica, FB

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) The CBI is examining a set of fresh details shared by Cambridge Analytica and Facebook in its ongoing probe related to data harvesting of details of Indian voters from the social networking platform, officials said on Thursday.

The agency had sought the data from Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, based in Britain and the US, respectively.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wanted to know about the methods of data collection adopted by Cambridge Analytica, the British political consulting firm which combined data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication during the electoral processes.

The firm was started in 2013 as an offshoot of the SCL Group and closed its operations in 2018 in the course of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, although related firms still exist.

Based on the Central government's reference, the CBI had initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research last year over alleged data mining of voters from Facebook platforms.

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, which has more than 20 crore users in India.

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.

The CBI had initiated a PE in the case after Union Law and Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Rajya Sabha in July last year that the probe will be handed over to the agency.

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