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Facebook responds to govt notice; data of 5 lakh Indians may have been compromised

06-April-2018
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Facebook responds to govt notice; data of 5 lakh Indians may have been compromised

More than 5 lakh people in India may have been affected by the unauthorised sharing of data mined from Facebook.

According to media reports, Facebook on Thursday told the Indian government that “a total of 5,62,455 people in India” were potentially affected by the unauthorised sharing of data mined by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan with UK-based Cambridge Analytica.

The social media giant reportedly said that 335 users in India had installed the personality quiz app developed by Kogan. The remaining 5,62,120 affected people were friends of those who installed this app. The social networking giant has close to 200 million users in India.

“This yields a total of 562,455 potentially affected people in India, which is 0.6% of the global number of potentially affected people,” some media reports quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying in an email statement.

Facebook released these details after the Ministry of Electronics and IT last month reportedly issued a notice to it seeking details of whether the personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by British data firm Cambridge Analytica or any other entities. Facebook was given time till April 7, 2018 to respond to the letter.

The government had issued a similar notice to Cambridge Analytica which has sought another week’s time to respond, said the media reports.

Meanwhile, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said that his company will enhance security features in view of the upcoming elections in several countries including India.

“This is going to be a big year for elections ahead with the US midterms and elections in India, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Hungary and others. This is going to be a major focus for us,” he was quoted as saying.

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