IT Ministry Asks Facebook Inc To Provide Details On Latest Security Breach

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New Delhi: The government of India through Union information technology (IT) ministry has asked social networking firm Facebook Inc to provide India-specific details on the company’s latest security breach. The company has compromised 50 million user accounts. “If there is a hacking, the company should report the incident on its own. Since they did not inform us, the ministry asked them for details,” a senior official of the electronics and information technology ministry said on condition of anonymity.

This was conveyed to Facebook verbally on Monday, two other ministry officials confirmed on condition of anonymity. Facebook has asked for two days to respond to the ministry’s query, they added. A Facebook spokesperson did not respond to queries.

“We are awaiting the report from Facebook. We understand they will need some time to put together the information and send it to us, so we agreed to wait for two days,” the second official said. In July, the draft Data Protection Bill submitted by the justice BN Srikrishna-led committee proposed that a data breach must be reported to a Data Protection Authority (DPA). The draft stated that the Data Protection Authority (DPA) of India would have the mandate of protecting the interests of users who it described as “data principals”, and preventing the “misuse of personal data”. It called for financial penalties and jail terms in the case of violations. The draft bill is yet to be introduced in the Parliament. To be sure, India doesn’t have a DPA right now.

“The data protection draft is not a law at present, but once it is a law, they would have to automatically report this to the Data Protection Authority. For now the IT ministry is performing this role,” the first official said.

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