Facebook faces criminal investigation over controversial data sharing deals

Facebook faces criminal investigation over controversial data sharing deals

A grand jury in NY recently subpoenaed two companies that make smartphones and other gadgets, people familiar with the requests told the Times.

News of the controversial agreements emerged in June when the Times reported that Facebook had agreed to provide access to large amounts of user data to at least 60 different device makers - including companies like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and BlackBerry. According to the report, which was published in December, "Facebook allowed Microsoft's Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users' friends without consent. and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users' private messages".

Last July, Facebook began facing a widening inquiry from the federal government, with three federal agencies and the Department of Justice looking into how the political-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained the personal data of up to 87 million Americans.

The criminal investigation adds to a laundry list of probes since the Cambridge Analytica revelations one year ago placed a spotlight on the company's data and privacy practices.

Meet the tech CEO who lost five stone thanks to his own app
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Despite these assurances, the partnerships are now the subject of a federal investigation.

At this moment, it isnt clear what the criminal investigation is focusing and although Facebook declined to comment on The Times questions pertaining to the nature of the investigation, it did offer a statement that confirmed the investigation is indeed going on. Facebook is also facing a record-setting multibillion-dollar fine from the FTC for privacy violations, according to The Washington Post.

Facebook seemed to confirm the report by telling the Times it is "cooperating" with investigators.

Facebook responded by noting that other federal investigations are reportedly underway.

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