Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica over policy violation. 
Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica over policy violation. (Photo: The Quint)
  • 1. The "Unethical" Breach
  • 2. Data Diabolical
  • 3. The India Connect
  • 4. The 'Desi' Plot Thickens
  • 5. Going by the 'Facebook'
CBI to Probe Cambridge Analytica: What’s the Firm’s India Connect?

If you are a Facebook user, you are probably familiar with the whole Cambridge Analytica controversy by now.

The data of millions of Facebook users has been mined by firms like the aforementioned Cambridge Analytica, and also Indian companies like Ovleno Business Intelligence to aid political campaigns for various elections. What started off as a major controversy in the United Stated has slowly pervaded into different parts of the world, with India also getting caught in this whole fiasco.

Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Rajya Sabha on Thursday, 26 July that the Cambridge Analytica data breach case will be investigated by the CBI.

Since the whole controversy encompasses a lot of elements like millions of Facebook’s users, psychological manipulation and the Indian political parties, here’s a quick low down on everything you need to know about the Cambridge Analytica controversy and its India connect.

  • 1. The "Unethical" Breach

    British data analysis firm, Cambridge Analytica (CA) has been at the centre of controversy over the last few days, following reports from The New York Times and UK-based Observer that it breached private data of more than 50 million Facebook users. CA used the data to aid the 2016 presidential campaign of current US President Donald Trump, as well as "changing audience behaviour" in projects like Brexit and even elections in Kenya.

    Also Read : All You Need to Know About the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook Fiasco

    This has been the largest breach of the social networking website till date.

    The revelations about the breach were brought forward by Christopher Wylie, a former employee at CA and a whistle-blower. Wylie worked alongside Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who developed an application called "This is Your Digital Life", which was accessed by almost 2,70,000 users and the same was used to mine the data.

    We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we know about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.
    Christopher Wylie, whistle-blower & former Cambridge Analytica employee

    CA's CEO Alexander Nix has also been suspended pending further investigation into the matter. In an exposé by Channel 4, Alexander Nix and CA's chief data officer Alex Tayler talked about how they ran the digital campaign for Donald Trump.

PreviousNext

Follow our Explainers section for more stories.

Also Watch