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Facebook still evaluating data breach’s impact on Indian users: report

Facebook has sought more time to respond to the Indian government, after MeitY asked Facebook to quantify the impact of its latest security breach of 50 million accounts, reports the Economic Times. Facebook said that in order to evaluate the impact on Indian users, it needed more time.

Facebook has communicated twice with the government so far, according to ET. The company has reportedly told the government that they needed clarity on what data was accessed, and sought more time for inquiry.

At last count in December 2016, Facebook India had 166 million users [of which over 95% were mobile], while as of June 2017, the company had 2 billion users globally.

Latest breach affected 50 million people

In September, Facebook announced that at least 50 million people and potentially upto 90 million users were affected by a security breach involving the Facebook’s “View As” feature. The company said the vulnerability had been present and undiscovered for a year. By the time Facebook announced the breach, it said it had already “fixed the vulnerability and informed law enforcement.” It had also reset the access tokens for accounts which it confirmed to be affected.

Indian authorities ask Facebook for answers

Indian authorities have questioned Facebook multiple times since the Cambridge Analytica data breach:

  • The Indian government served Facebook with three notices, the last one in June sought an explanation over reports of the company’s data sharing partnerships with phone manufacturers.
  • In August, Minister of Electronics and IT, RS Prasad said that the CBI had been asked to investigate the affect of Cambridge Analytica on Indian users of Facebook.
  • Earlier this year, the Indian government had served notices to both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook after the social media giant revealed that Indian users may have been exposed to the breach.

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