Facebook reportedly under criminal investigation for secret data-sharing deals

Leroy Wright
March 15, 2019

Bay Area social media giant Facebook is reportedly under criminal investigation for its data-sharing deals with other tech companies.

We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously Weve provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so.

The New York Times reports that a federal grand jury is investigating company partnerships that provided broad access to the information of millions of Facebook users.

Both companies are among the more than 150, including Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp, that have entered into partnerships with Facebook for access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users, according to the report.

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

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The probe constitutes a sharp escalation of Facebook's legal problems in the United States of America, where it is under scrutiny from four separate government agencies, including the U.S. justice department, as well as from legislators.

The deals sparked outrage - and have come under sharp scrutiny - since they were revealed in a investigation by the Times previous year. A grand jury investigation is "serious" and suggests the company as a long way to go to regain the trust of users after two years of privacy and security-related scandals, CNBC said.

The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook is already facing the prospect of multi-billion dollar fines to settle privacy investigations by the US Federal Trade Commission and other agencies.

The exact focus of the investigation, however, remains unknown.

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