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  • 23 January, 2021

  • 12 Min Read

Cambridge Analytica and FB issue

Cambridge Analytica and FB issue

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation has booked Cambridge Analytica (U.K.) Limited and Global Science Research Limited (U.K.) for alleged illegal harvesting of personal data of about 5.62 lakh Indian users on Facebook through an application.
  • It stems from a preliminary enquiry launched by the agency in July 2018 on a complaint from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) following media reports alleging the illegal harvesting of personal data.
  • MeitY had earlier sought details from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica about the alleged violations, the extent of the leak of personal data of Indian users and their possible misuse by Cambridge Analytica for profiling and influencing elections in India.
  • The CBI found that Dr. Kogan, founder and director of GSRL, had created an application that was named “thisisyourdigitallife.”
  • As per Facebook’s platform policy, the app was authorised to collect certain specific data of users for academic and research purposes. It, however, illegally collected unauthorised data of users as well as their friends’ networks on Facebook, as alleged in the FIR.
  • The data was collected without the knowledge and consent of users.

Central Bureau of Investigation

  1. The Special Police Establishment (SPE) was set up in 1941. It was merged with CBI which was set up in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs based on the recommendations of the Santhanam Committee.
  2. CBI is not a statutory body. It derives its powers from Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. Now it is an attached office. It assists Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal.
  3. CBI is the main investigating police agency of the Central govt with respect to the Prevention of corruption and maintaining integrity in administration. The CBI is involved in major criminal probes, and is the Interpol agency in India.
  4. Mission: To uphold the Constitution and laws of the land, leads and directs police forces and acts as the nodal agency for enhancing inter-state and international cooperation in law enforcement.
  5. Its motto is "Industry, Impartiality and Integrity".
  6. Vision: Corruption, violent crimes, Evolve effective systems and procedures for investigating and prosecution of cases in various law courts, cyber crime, support state police organizations and law enforcement agencies, play a lead role in war against organized crime, uphold human rights, develop scientific temper, humanism, spirit of enquiry and reform.
  7. Composition and Appointment:
    1. Head – Director (IPS of DGP or Commissioner) for a term of 2 years
      1. According to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 amended DSPE Act, 1946. Earlier CVC (under CVC Act appointed Director).
      2. Now Central govt appoints the Director on the basis of a 3 member Committee of
        1. PM (as the Chairman),
        2. Leader of Opposition of Lok Sabha
        3. Chief Justice of India or Judge of SC or nominated by CJI.
    2. The Director of CBI as IGP, DSPE is responsible for the administration of the organization.
    3. With the enactment of CVC Act, 2003 the superintendence of DSPE vests with the Central govt except investigation of offences under POCA, 1988, in which, the superintendence lies with CVC.
    4. He is assisted by a Special or Additional Director. It also has Joint directors, DIGs, SPs etc.
    5. Amendments by Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013
      1. The Director of Prosecution in CBI shall be appointed by the Center on CVC’s recommendations.
      2. The CVC as the Chairman and 2 Vice Chairmen + Secretaries of Home Affairs, Department of Personnel and Training are the members of Selection Committees, on whose recommendations the Central govt appoints SP and above in CBI except the Director of CBI.
  8. Functions
    1. Investigating cases of corruption, bribery, misconduct, infringement of fiscal and economic laws of Central govt employees.
    2. Taking up, on the request of a State govt or when directed by SC or HC, any case of public importance for investigation.
    3. The CBI acts as the National Central Bureau of Interpol in India.
    4. SC quashed the provision of taking prior permission of the Center before conducting any enquiry by the Joint Secretary and above.
  9. Special Police Establishment: The role of SPE, a division of CBI, is supplementary to that of State Police forces.

Source: TH

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