The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a case against UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica for the alleged illegal harvesting of personal data of 5.62 lakh Indian Facebook users. The investigating agency has also named Global Science Research (GSRL), another UK-based company, in the same case.
In March 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light when multiple international media platforms cited former Cambridge Analytica employees, associates, and documents to report that the firm had accumulated private information from the Facebook profiles of over 50 million users in the world over without their consent.
Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad had informed Parliament in July 2018 that there will be a CBI inquiry into the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data theft case.
The CBI's preliminary inquiry revealed criminal offences committed by Cambridge Analytica and GSRL, prompting it to book the two firms for criminal conspiracy and cybercrime.
In its response to the CBI's questions, Facebook had said GSRL illegally collected personal data of around 5.62 lakh users in India and shared it with Cambridge Analytica. It is alleged that the consulting firm then used the data to influence elections in India.