CBI initiates preliminary enquiry against Cambridge Analytica for alleged illegal data harvesting of Indians from Facebook

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CBI has initiated a preliminary enquiry against British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research, for alleged illegal personal data harvesting of Indians from Facebook.

Officials said, after receiving a reference in this regard from the Centre, the agency has initiated preliminary enquiry which is normally the first step to decide whether the allegations deserve a full-blown investigation through an FIR or not.

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

Cambridge Analytica earlier faced allegations that it used personal information harvested from 87 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the US Presidential elections in 2016.

After the data breach came to light, the IT Ministry had in March and April shot off communications to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica seeking clarification on the issue.

Mr Prasad had said that Facebook responded that they will streamline their internal processes regarding the handling of personal data. However, Cambridge Analytica gave an initial response that the data of Indians was not breached.

The firm did not respond to the subsequent communication, therefore it is suspected that it may have been involved in illegally obtaining data of Indians which could be misused.

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