Feds Are Investigating Data Deals Facebook Struck With Several Big Tech Firms

Blanche Robertson
March 14, 2019

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

A grand jury subpoenaed records from two smartphone developers, The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing two anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

The report comes as the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission continue scrutinizing Facebook's business model.

"We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously", a Facebook spokesman told the Times.

Facebook has defended the data-sharing deals, first reported in December, saying none of the partnerships gave companies access to information without people's permission.

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United States government prosecutors are looking into how Facebook shared personal information from hundreds of millions of its users with more than 150 firms, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, sometimes without their consent.

As if today couldn't get any worse for Facebook, the company is now facing a criminal investigation as the result of its controversial data sharing practices.

"It has already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, including by the Department of Justice", a Facebook representative said in a statement.

The Times reports that it is not clear when the inquiry began or exactly what it is focusing on. Apple, for example, was able to slurp up contact numbers and calendar entries from users who thought they'd disabled all sharing, unbeknownst to the users - though Apple maintains it had no idea Facebook had given it special access and that it removed no data from users' devices.

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