The Centre on Wednesday sought information from Facebook on whether the private data of Indian users of the social media platform had been leaked, ANI reported.
The request comes in the wake of the data breach controversy involving British firm, Cambridge Analytica, which is accused of using the private data of more than 40 million Facebook users to influence voters during the 2016 United States presidential election. Cambridge Analytica is also accused of using shell companies, sex workers, fake news and bribes to sway election outcomes in several countries.
On March 23, the ministry had asked the firm to submit a report explaining whether it had utilised the information of Indian users in any of its assignments. The British firm has till March 31 to respond to the six-point notice.
The ministry on Wednesday said it has asked Facebook to explain if personal data of Indian users and voters was compromised. It also sought to know whether Facebook or any agency that has access to its data had been engaged by entities to manipulate the Indian electoral process.
The Ministry of Communications and Technology has asked the social media giant to submit the details by April 7.
Whistleblower Christopher Wylie, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, on Tuesday said the company had worked extensively in India and had offices and staff in the country, adding that the Congress might have been a client of the firm.
Last week, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad had warned Facebook of strong action and said India would summon its founder and chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, to India if the data of Indian users was found to have been compromised. However, the notice issued on Friday did not mention any action against the social media company.