The government has issued a notice to social media giant Facebook over alleged data breach involving British company Cambridge Analytica. The Ministry of Electronics and IT sent the notice to on Wednesday, seeking the website’s response on the alleged data breach scandal. Facebook has been asked to respond by April 7.
In its notice, the government has asked whether the personal data of Indian voters and users were compromised by Cambridge Analytica or any other downstream entity in any manner. They have also sought details of how the data was compromised.
Facebook has also been asked to clarify if the social media giant itself or its related/downstream agencies utilising the data have previously been engaged by any entities to manipulate the Indian electoral process.
“If any such downstream entity misused data from Facebook, what is the protection available to the data subject?” asks the notice. It further asks, “What are the specific steps proposed to be taken by Facebook to prevent any misuse of personal data for potential interference in, or manipulation of the Indian electoral process?”
Pointing that Facebook currently has its “largest footprint in India in terms of its user base”, the government has further asked as to 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.
This came even as Facebook said on Wednesday that it would overhaul its privacy settings tools to put users "more in control" of their information. The updates include improved access to Facebook's user settings and tools to easily search for, download and delete personal data stored by them.
A new privacy shortcuts menu will allow users to quickly increase account security, manage who can see their information and activity on the site and control advertisements they see. "We've heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed," chief privacy officer Erin Egan and deputy general counsel Ashlie Beringer said in a post.