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Govt issues show-cause notice to Facebook over Indians’ data leak


Problems for Facebook is going to be far from over in India. The government has sent a show-cause notice to the company asking whether the personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by Cambridge Analytica.

The company has to send its response to the government by April 7.

“The show-cause notice has been sent to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and not to their Indian head,” a senior government official told BusinessLine.

After the reports of Facebook data breaching and influencing electoral processes, the government warned the social networking giant saying it can even summon Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, if found guilty.

The government seems to have stiffened the stand after new reports trickled in and whistleblowers revealed saying Cambridge Analytica, through Facebook, has influenced Indian elections as well and even caste votes were created by them.

The other questions asked in the notice is related to the safety, security and privacy of user data.

“Facebook today has its largest footprint in India in terms of its user base and, therefore, what proactive measures are being taken to ensure the safety, security and privacy of such large user data and to prevent its misuse by any third party,” it asked in the notice.

The government has also sent a notice to Cambridge Analytica asking whether it has misused data to profile Indians and influence elections in the country.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) will continue to work with the social media company for the Karnataka assembly poll. The ECI had announced a partnership with Facebook in June last year to launch voter registration reminder.

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