India was the seventh-most affected country in the Facebook data-breach fiasco involving Cambridge Analytica (CA).
On April 05, Facebook confirmed that up to 562,455 users in India were “potentially affected” by an app utilised by CA, a British political research firm, to access their data. “This is 0.6% of the global number of potentially affected people,” Facebook said in an emailed statement to Quartz.
Up to 335 Facebook users in India installed the “This Is Your Digital Life” app, which is 0.1% of its worldwide installs. This may have exposed an additional 562,120 Indians—Facebook friends of those who installed the app.
“They include any and all friendships that existed at any time between when the app first became active on the Facebook platform in November 2013 and when the app’s access to friends’ data was limited in May 2015,” Facebook said in the statement. “They also include users who may have changed their settings to disallow sharing of their data with the app, due to limited historical information about when or how those settings were updated.”
In an April 04 blog post, Facebook revealed that CA may have gathered the data of up to 87 million users—mostly in the US—much higher than the 50 million initially reported.
Facebook has also submitted an official response to the Indian government today (April 05). With over 241 million users, the country is home to the platform’s largest user-base.
“Cambridge Analytica’s acquisition of Facebook data…happened without our authorisation and was an explicit violation of our platform policies,” the statement to Quartz said. “At no time did Facebook agree to Cambridge Analytica’s use of any Facebook user data that may have been collected by this app, including with respect to users located in India.”
CA’s parent company, the SCL Group, has worked on at least eight assignments in India, according to documents obtained by Quartz. During the 2016 election campaign, it had approached political parties in the country to set up “the most sophisticated political research and data hub” besides developing a mobile app and undertaking several kinds of research services.