Information harvesting: CBI case towards Analytica, GSR

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 22

The CBI has registered a case against UK-based Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research (GSR) for their alleged involvement in illegally harvesting data of 5.62 lakh Indian Facebook users for profiteering and manipulating elections.

The agency said the case has been registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act, 2000, on the basis of a complaint filed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in July 2018. The complaint was based on news reports of illegal data harvesting by the two overseas business entities to manipulate elections in India. A senior CBI official said Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research are represented by Aleksandr Kogan and both companies are based in the UK.

It is alleged that Kogan of GSR had created an application “Thisisyourdigitallife” having permission from Facebook to collect certain categories of its users’ data for “research and academic purposes”.

In the FIR, the CBI has alleged that it illegally collected additional data of not only 335 users of the application, but also of their friends’ network on Facebook without their consent or knowledge. Later, the data collected was allegedly sold for commercial gains to Cambridge Analytica, it said.

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