The Congress on Wednesday denied having any links with Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm accused in Facebook data privacy scandal, and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal-United used its services.
“Indian National Congress (INC) or our party president has never hired services of the company called Cambridge Analytica,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
Hitting out at the BJP, Surjewala said that linking of the Congress with Cambridge Analytica is a “white lie being dished out by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.”
The Congress leader further accused the BJP and the JD-U of rendering the firms services.
“Cambridge Analytica’s Indian partner firm Ovlene Business Intelligence (OBI) is being run by the son of an BJP ally,” Surjewala said.
The Congress denial and accusation on BJP comes hours after Union Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the role of Cambridge Analytica in social media profile of Rahul Gandhi.
According to reports, Cambridge Analytica mined data from Facebook in the voter research it conducted for President Donald Trump during the 2016 elections campaign.
The UK firm Cambridge Analytica is at the centre of a major data scandal rocking Facebook. The breach of data surfaced after a former employee of the firm claimed that the company had developed an app downloaded by 270,000 people to scoop up information about their friends. A software was also designed to predict and influence voters’ choices at the ballot box.