India says it will continue probe despite Cambridge Analytica shutdown

India says it will continue probe despite Cambridge Analytica shutdown

  • Cambridge Analytica declared bankruptcy and issued a closure statement yesterday.
  • The Indian government will not halt its probe despite this development.
  • Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have until May 10 to respond to notices issued by the government of India.
British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, famous for being embroiled in the recent Facebook privacy scandal, maybe declaring bankruptcy and shutting down, but that isn’t going be enough to make the Indian government back off from investigating the data leak issue.

Prior to the closure announcement by them, the government of India had already delivered notices to both, Cambridge Analytica as well as Facebook, with queries about the data breach. Reports indicate that the last date for the companies to respond is May 10.

When Cambridge Analytica issued their statement about shutting down, they claimed that they had been ‘vilified’ for activities that are legal and normally considered to be standard practices when it comes to online advertising.

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Nonetheless, officials close to the matter said that the probe won’t be retracted based on that statement, and the liability of the company still has to be questioned, since the issue is from before their decision to close shop.

The most recent notice that the government sent to Cambridge Analytica enquired about their data harnessing capabilities. The questions including queries about what kind of data had been taken from India and what research tools were used to obtain the relevant information. The government also wants to ascertain whether the company harvested any data through third-party apps and whether or not the data mining that occurred happened with user consent.


In the past, Cambridge Analytica responses have been ‘cryptic and evasive’, according to the government. The government says that even if non-disclosure pacts were signed between the company and its clients in India, a template of those agreements can still be produced as evidence.

Even the UK isn’t backing off. The spokesperson at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for the country stated, “The ICO will continue its civil and criminal investigation and will seek to pursue individuals and directors as appropriate and necessary even where companies may no longer be operating.”

The British firm has been caught in a tussle with numerous countries where they’ve been accused of harvesting data for 87 million Facebook users. That data, in turn, was used to leverage political campaigns.