India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed a case against Cambridge Analytica and another UK-based research firm – Global Science Research Limited (GSRL) for allegedly mining personal data of 562,000 Indian Facebook users by illegal means, even without the consent of the social networking giant.
In its first information report, the CBI has alleged that Global Science Research actually procured user data from Facebook and later handed it over to Cambridge Analytica unethically.
Facebook has admitted before the CBI that it had allowed GSRL to collect data for academic and research purposes. GSRL however, exploited the permission and collected illegal data including the contents of private messages of thousands of Indian users.
GSRL later shared the data with Cambridge Analytica and used it to influence polls, the CBI has alleged.
CBI files FIR against Cambridge Analytica, Aleksandr Kogan for conspiracy. @Facebook claimed only 335 Indian users had installed the app created by CA and data of 5.62 Lakh may be used.— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) January 22, 2021
Data was collected without the permission of @Facebook pic.twitter.com/nB9udmGFBm
A preliminary investigation into this massive data breach scandal was opened by CBI against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica back in September 2018.
The initial enquiry revealed that GSRL Founder Dr. Alexander Kogan had created an app called “thisisyourdigitallife” that was collecting user information.
WhatsApp’s update asked users utilising its dedicated “Business” app launched in 2018 to accept conditions of data sharing with Facebook to make their business and shopping experience more personalised.