The Facebook Inc. thumbs up symbol is shown on an Apple Inc. iPhone against a computer screen displaying the word ‘Data ?’ in this arranged photograph in London, U.K. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)

Government Seeks Explanation From Facebook Over Data Sharing

The government today sought an explanation by June 20 from Facebook on reports that suggested it shared information of users with mobile device makers. Taking suo motu note of reports, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has also asked for a detailed factual report.

"Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has sought an explanation from Facebook seeking a detailed factual report on the issue," an official statement said. The statement said that the recent reports claiming that Facebook has agreements which allow phone and other device manufacturers to access its users' personal information, including that of their friends, without seeking their explicit consent. "The Government of India is deeply concerned about reports of such lapses/ violations," the statement said.

Also read: Facebook's Data-Sharing With Chinese Firms Roils Key Lawmakers

It said that in response to earlier notices about breaches of personal data relating to the Cambridge Analytica episode, Facebook had apologized and given strong assurances to the government that they would take sincere efforts to protect the privacy of users' data on the platform. "However, such reports raise uncomfortable questions about the assurances made by Facebook," the statement said.

In case of data leaks to Cambridge Analytica, Facebook had admitted that 335 people in India were directly affected through an application installation, and another 562,120 people were potentially affected since they were friends of those users.