The Facebook Inc. application is seen in the App Store on an Apple Inc. iPhone in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)  

Government Issues Notice To Facebook Over Data Breach

The government today issued a notice to social networking giant Facebook, seeking its response over the user data breach, and details of the measures it has put in place to ensure safety and prevent misuse of personal data.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT today said that a notice seeking details relating to breach of data from Facebook had been sent to Cambridge Analytica particularly with regard to reports in the media about questionable practices attributed to the UK-based firm in their efforts to influence elections.

“It is felt that there is a need for further information about the data breach from Facebook. Accordingly, a letter has been issued by the Ministry of Electronics & IT on March 28, 2018 to Facebook seeking their response,” Meity said in a statement.

The ministry has raised five questions in all including whether the personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by Cambridge Analytica or any other downstream entity in any manner.

The ministry has asked social media major to submit a reply whether the company or its related or downstream agencies utilising Facebook’s data have previously been engaged by any entities “to manipulate the Indian electoral process”.

The letter sent to Facebook said that at present, it has largest footprint in India in terms of its user base and sought its reply on proactive measures being taken by the company to ensure safety, security and privacy of such large user data and to prevent its misuse by any third party.

"Facebook has been called upon to give their response by April 7, 2018," the statement said.