The BJP and the Congress pointed a finger at each other, with Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad warning Facebook, and other social media sites, of tough action if they attempted to influence elections in India.
The Congress rejected Prasad's charges and hit back at the BJP accusing it of using the services of the disgraced data-mining firm to influence the 2010 Assembly elections in Bihar. "What is Cambridge Analytica's role in Rahul Gandhi's social media profile?" We welcome the FB profile in India, but if any data theft of Indians is done through the collusion of FB system, it shall not be tolerated.
"Any covert or overt attempt to misuse social media including Facebook to influence India's electoral process through undesirable means will neither be tolerated, nor be permitted".
The Congress also said that the BJP hired OBI during the assembly elections in four state - Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi.
Bharatiya Janata Party sources maintained that none other than Mr Rahul Gandhi announced in February first week creation of a "Data Analytics" department at the party headquarters under the leadership of a former investment banker Praveen Chakravarty.
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The trading of charges between the two parties came following the Facebook's admission last week that Cambridge Analytica used data that had been collected from 50 million users without their consent, an act of breach of privacy.
Poonawalla dismissed the statement made by Surjewala claiming no connection between Congress and Cambridge Analytica. Citing media reports, Prasad said bots were used to "artificially increase" the social media following of Rahul Gandhi.
Surjewala said the Prime Minister's Office, along with Information and Broadcasting Ministry, is trying to muzzle the voice of the media by instructing media outlets to run the news about Cambridge Analytics.
It went on to add that "CA was tasked to organize the party base at the village level by creating a communication hierarchy to increase supporter motivation".
The Minister also sought to know from the "Grand Old Party" as to how much stolen data from CA was in posession of the Congress and how much data of Indian users had been handed over to the firm by the party.
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"Cambridge Analytica's linked website shows that in 2010 its services were used by BJP-JD (U). It is a fake agenda and white lie being dished out by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad".
The BJP posed seven questions to the Congress asking if "data theft and manipulation ability" were the reason why the Congress hired the CA?
Among others in the Kenyan propaganda campaign, Cambridge Analytica executives say they worked for the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The first salvo was sacked by Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari who said the said the Election Commission should inquire about the services rendered by the firm in India and to whom. Firm's Indian partner Ovlene Business Intelligence (OBI) is being run by BJP ally's MP's son.
Wylie claimed the company used an application designed by Cambridge University's psychology professor Dr Aleksandr Kogan, who was paid $800,00 for his services.
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Kogan's company named Global Science Research "created" an app called "thisisyourdigitallife" in 2014 and the net users were tricked and even paid to take a psychological test and the "app collected the data".