The Centre on Wednesday sent notices to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica for the second time in connection with the scandal involving the misuse of data of people on the social media platform by the British data analytics company.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that it sent the second notice as the responses of the companies to the first one were “cryptic”. The government wants the two firms to respond by May 10.
Cambridge Analytica is under scrutiny for allegedly harvesting the information of over 70 million Facebook users to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in the United States as well. Earlier in April, Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom published evidence about the Brexit campaign group Leave.EU benefiting from work done by Cambridge Analytica before the June 2016 referendum.
Soon after the data breach was reported, whistleblower Christopher Wylie said Cambridge Analytica had worked on several projects in India too.
In its notice on Wednesday, the government said Cambridge Analytica’s response was “self evident that apart from being very cryptic, the unstated intention was to conceal more than reveal”, The Indian Express reported.
The government said the data analytics firm should have better handled the “serious and sensitive issue relating to data, encompassing its management, safety and its possible abuse to influence voting behaviour”, especially because India was “the front lane of democratic countries as an effective and largest functioning democracy”.
In its notice to Facebook, the government asked for details of the security measures to ensure “data concerning Indians are not pilfered or manipulated again for extraneous purposes including to influence the elections”, according to PTI.