Will take action after Facebook, Cambridge Analytica respond: Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi: The government has shot-off notices to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica on the data breach issue and will decide on action to be taken after receiving their responses, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.
“We are very tough when it comes to data protection in India. Notice has gone from the Indian government to the two companies. We should wait for their reply. We will take action after their reply,” Prasad told reporters.
Following up on its earlier warning, the IT Ministry on Wednesday 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 raised five questions for Facebook, including whether the personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by Cambridge Analytica or any other downstream entity in any manner, and gave the networking giant a deadline of April 7 to send detailed response.
It questioned whether the company or its related or downstream agencies utilising the data on the social media platform have previously been engaged by any entity “to manipulate the Indian electoral process”.
The letter sent to Facebook noted that it has largest footprint in India in terms of 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.
A similar notice was earlier sent to Cambridge Analytica over media reports about questionable practices attributed to the UK-based firm in their efforts to influence elections by harvesting data of Facebook users.
Prasad further said that a UK parliamentary committee is conducting an investigation and added that he did not wish to comment on the views of one of its members.