USA prosecutors probing Facebook's data deals, New York Times says

Share

The investigation reportedly stems from partnerships Facebook formed with more than 100 other companies, such as Microsoft, Netflix, and Spotify.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg created the partnerships to stave off obsolescence and insulate the massive company from competition.

A grand jury in NY has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, the paper reported without naming them, citing two people familiar with the requests.

USA prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into Facebook's practice of sharing users' data with companies without letting the social network's members know, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

In addition to looking at the data deals, the probes focus on disclosures that the company shared the user data of 87 million people with Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that worked with US President Donald Trump's campaign. Other arrangements allowed Amazon to obtain users' names and contact information through their friends and permitted Yahoo to view streams of friends' posts as recently as this summer, the Times reported, despite Facebook's statements that it had ended that type of data sharing.

More news: Google reportedly shifting employees away from tablet, laptop division
More news: Gillibrand stands by handling of aide's sex misconduct claim
More news: Aaron Hernandez's first-degree murder conviction to be reinstated, court rules

Facebook has been struggling to rehabilitate its public image amid revelations that it allowed Cambridge Analytica to improperly access the personal data of many of its users and the growing evidence of how its social network has been used to spread misinformation during the 2016 US Presidential elections.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York City, U.S., February 14, 2019. As we've said before, we are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously.

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.

"It has already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, including by the Department of Justice", a Facebook spokesman said in response to an AFP inquiry.

Share