Criminal Investigation Into Facebook Data Sharing – Report

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It never rains but pours. US federal prosecutors launch investigation of Facebook’s data sharing deals

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has another headache to contend with, after it was reported that federal prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation into the firm’s data-sharing agreements.

In December it emerged that leading tech firms and consumer brands such as Amazon, Apple, Spotify, Microsoft and Netflix had struck deals with Facebook to harvest the personal data of millions of its users, including private messages.

The controversial data sharing deals had been revealed after an investigation by the New York Times (NYT), but Facebook insisted at the time that it had done nothing wrong.

Data-sharing deals

But now another article in the New York Times has alleged that a grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least “two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices.”

The report, cited two people familiar with the requests, said that both these companies had entered into partnerships with Facebook, “gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.”

It seems that Facebook’s data-sharing deals are being investigated by prosecutors with the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.

“We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously,” a Facebook spokesman told the NYT in a statement. “We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so.”

Other investigations

It should be remembered that Facebook is already being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The FTC investigation is about whether in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook violated a 2012 privacy agreement.

And the Justice Department’s securities fraud unit has also reportedly begun an investigation over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

That investigation is reportedly being run by prosecutors from the Northern District of California.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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