The action came after a preliminary enquiry into the matter which showed that Global Science Research had created an app “thisisyourdigitallife” which was authorised by Facebook to collect specific datasets of its users for research and academic purposes in 2014.
The company then entered into a criminal conspiracy with Cambridge Analytica, allowing it to use the data harvested by it for commercial purposes, the officials said.
Facebook had collected certificates from both the firms in 2016-17 that data collected by them using “thisisyourdigitallife” was accounted for and destroyed. However, the CBI enquiry did not find any evidence of any such destruction, according to the officials.
“The enquiry prima facie established that Global Science Research Ltd, UK dishonestly and fraudulently accessed data of app users of “thisisyourdigitallife” and their Facebook friends,” an official said, citing the FIR.
The government had ordered a CBI probe in the matter after US-based social media giant Facebook had in April 2018 admitted that nearly 5.62 lakh people in India were “potentially affected” by the global data breach by CA and asserted that the UK-based firm’s use of such data did not have its consent.
Following the government’s order, the CBI started examining the data breach after receiving a reference from the ministry of information and technology.