Cambridge Analytica scandal : Data of over 5 lakh Indian Facebook users leaked

Facebook on Wednesday said that personal information of up to 87 million users and not 50 million as reported earlier, may have been “improperly” shared with British political consulting firm — Cambridge Analytica. Out of the 87 million, Facebook believes that around 5.6 lakh are Indian users. Facebook via a blog post on Wednesday revealed the possible number of users affected by the data breach, country wise.

Facebook believes that users from the US are most affected in the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal, followed by Philippines, Indonesia, UK, Mexico, Canada, and then comes India on the list.


In contrary to the earlier media reports which informed that over 50 million user data have been harvested by the Cambridge Analytica, an upstart voter-profiling company headquartered in London, Facebook has now revealed that up to 87 million people across the globe must have been affected by the data breach scandal. Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer notes, “In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people – mostly in the US – may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica” in a blog post on Wednesday.

 According to Facebook, data of over 5 lakh Indians may have been possibly shared with Cambridge Analytica. Facebook did specify the number as well. Facebook believes the number could be around 5,62,455. This is a possible number, and Facebook is expected inform the exact number of Indian users affected by the data breach on April 7 to comply with the Indian government order.

Last month, Christopher Wylie, a former employee with Cambridge Analytica while deposing in front of UK lawmakers said that CA worked “extensively” in India. He also said that CA has an office in India. Wylie also informed that Congress could be one of the few parties that possibly worked with CA. “I believe their client was Congress but I know that they have done all kinds of project. I don’t remember a national project but I know regionally. India’s so big that one state can be as big as Britain. But they do have offices there, they do have staff,” he said.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of IT and Law Ravi Shankar Prasad, soon after the entire CA was reported, had said that any attempt by social platforms like Facebook to influence the electoral process would not be tolerated. He also said that if in case Facebook is found involved in any such activities, if need be, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook could be summoned to India.

“Mr Mark Zuckerberg, You better note the observation of IT Minister of India. We welcome the Facebook profile from India are the highest in the world. But if any data theft of Indians is done with the collusion of Facebook system, this shall not be tolerated. We have got stringent power under IT act. We shall use it including summoning you in India,” Ravi Shankar Prasad had tweeted after the Cambridge Analytica sandal last month.

The Indian government has asked both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook to respond to them by April 7 whether personal data of Indians was misused affect the outcome of elections.

According to Facebook, users in the US have been most affected by the entire Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal. Over 70,632, 350 user data from the US have been affected, followed by Philippines with 1,175870 affected users, Indonesia with 1,096,666 affected users, UK with 1,079,031 affected users, then comes Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil, Vietnam and Australia in the list.

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