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Facebook data breach row: My son maintains only ‘professional links’ with disgraced firm Cambridge Analytica, says KC Tyagi

The London-based elections consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which engages in data mining and analysis for electoral processes, has been accused of harvesting and using the Facebook data of millions of users.

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Published on: March 22, 2018 19:44 IST ]
File pic of KC Tyagi
File pic of KC Tyagi

After his son's name cropped up in connection with the controversial British firm Cambridge Analytica (CA), JD-U secretary general K.C. Tyagi on Thursday said his son's company has only "professional links" with the CA and that the government can investigate the links.

The London-based elections consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which engages in data mining and analysis for electoral processes, has been accused of harvesting and using the Facebook data of millions of users.

Concerns are being raised over the possibility of such data being used to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Amrish Tyagi's firm Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI) is the India partner of CA and lists the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) among its clients.

"The JD-U has no links with my son Amrish Tyagi's firm or with Cambridge Analytica. Neither CA's directors have ever met (JD-U President) Nitish Kumar nor Nitish Kumar ever met CA's bosses," Tyagi said.

He said that the JD-U "being a socialist party does not go into tactics like data mining, etc", though he admitted that Amrish oversaw the party's social media campaign during the last Bihar Assembly elections. 

"Although there have been no complaints or information of data breach in India, I would request the government of India and particularly my friend Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, to investigate if any data breach or misuse happened in the country as well. Also, I would like them to probe the links between my son's firm and CA," he said.

He said that Amrish campaigned for President Donald Trump for over a month in the United States. 

"Although as a socialist he did not like this, as a professional he (Amrish) is free to make his work decisions. He is a grown up man of 40," Tyagi said.

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