USA prosecutors probing Facebook's data deals

14 March, 2019, 07:24 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote speech at F8 Facebook's developer conference in San Jose Calif

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

A NY grand jury has subpoenaed records from two smartphone makers involved in the partnerships, anonymous sources described as familiar with the requests told the Times. 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".

A NY grand jury has subpoenaed records from at least two smartphone manufacturers as part of a criminal investigation into Facebook's data deals with large technology companies.

But these partnerships also allowed third-party companies to get much deeper access to user data than it had previously made clear.

The social network's handling of user data has been a flashpoint for controversy since it admitted a year ago that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, used an app that may have hijacked the private details of 87 million users. Facebook did not respond to questions about the focus or nature of the investigation.

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Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over its privacy practices, including ongoing investigations by the US Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and 2 state agencies in NY.

"We've provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so", it said in a statement.

The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York City, U.S., February 14, 2019.

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.

A Facebook spokesperson did not address the New York Times story specifically, but told CNN Business, "It has already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, including by the Department of Justice".

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