India has asked social media company Facebook Inc to respond by June 20 to media reports of sharing users data without their explicit consent, a government statement said on Thursday.
“Recently there are media reports claiming that Facebook has agreements which are permitting phone and other device manufacturers access to its users’ personal information, including that of their friends, without taking their explicit consent. The Government of India is deeply concerned about reports of such lapses/violations,” the statement said.
“The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has sought an explanation from Facebook searching a detailed factual report on the problem. Facebook has been asked to respond by June 20.”
It said that in response to earlier notices about breaches of personal data relating to the Cambridge Analytica episode, Facebook had apologised and given strong assurances to the government that they would take sincere efforts to protect the privacy of users’ data on the platform.
“However, such reports raise uncomfortable questions about the assurances made by Facebook,” the statement added.
In case of data leaks to Cambridge Analytica,Facebook had admitted 335 people in India were directly affected through an app installation, and another 5,62,120 people were potentially affected as friends of those users.
The social network giant faced criticism in the United States on Wednesday from Republican and Democratic lawmakers who demanded that the social media company be more forthcoming about data it has shared with four Chinese firms.