Facebook row: Indian arm, OBI, shuts website

Mr Tyagi owned Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI) was Cambridge Analytica's associate in the country.

New Delhi: Immediately after controversy over Cambridge Analytica’s association with Indian political parties broke-out, Ovelina Business Intelligence (OBI) website, which is owned by Amrish Tyagi, the son of senior JD (U) leader K.C. Tyagi, was pulled down.

The data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica is under investigation over allegations that it stole 50 million Facebook users data to help its clients around the world, to win elections including US President Donald Trump.

Mr Tyagi owned Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI) was Cambridge Analytica’s associate in the country.

OBI in association with Cambridge Analytica parent company SCL Group had formed a company — SCL India —- to help its clients in the country in “election campaign management.”

The accused firm Cambridge Analytica in its website claims to have helped its client to win Bihar Assembly elections in 2010. JD(U) and BJP alliance had won Bihar assembly election in 2010. OBI, before pulling down its website had claimed to have Congress, BJP and JD(U) among its clients.

Mr Tyagi said that his firm was very different “from what they do in the US” and the firm uses data which is available in the public domain. “We are more in ground root politics in India. We come to know from our research and poll history of the particular booth that how many people voted for a certain ideology, certain outfit and then we make a profile of the booth and then we contact and try to convince,” he said. Mr Tyagi said from election commission data one can find out about how a booth voted in the last 3-4 elections. “Its not a rocket science. It is available for everyone,” he added.

“Cambridge Analytica (CA) was contracted to undertake an in-depth electorate analysis for the Bihar Assembly Election in 2010. The core challenge was to identify the floating/swing voters for each of the parties and to measure their levels electoral apathy, a result of the poor and unchanging condition of the state after 15 years of incumbent rule,” said Cambridge Analytica on its website. It said that in addition to the research phase, CA were tasked to organise the party base at the village level by creating a communication hierarchy to increase supporter motivation.

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