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Facebook Facing Criminal Investigation Into Device Data Share Deals

14 March, 2019, 10:44 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • The Facebook login screen is seen on a computer screen in Warsaw Poland

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress in April 2018.

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. However, Facebook continued sharing information with 61 hardware and software makers after it said it discontinued the practice in May 2015, it said in June.

Facebook had earlier this year been revealed to have data sharing partnerships with companies like Microsoft, Apple and Sony which had allowed the firm to access user's friends and contact information.

The Times' report was released on Wednesday evening, while Facebook was dealing with a major outage. The deals helped Facebook gain more users, according to the report, and its partners were able to access user data without obtaining consent.

Facebook is already facing the prospect of multi-billion dollar fines to settle privacy investigations. That revelation prompted a backlash that raised questions about whether Facebook can be trusted to protect the personal information of its 2 billion users.

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

Facebook seemed to confirm the report by telling the Times it is "cooperating" with investigators.

New Zealand calls for vaccination against measles following outbreak
Data from 2018 shows that 10% of cases are between 6 and 15 years of age, whereas 15% are between 16 and 30 years of age. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are about 97 percent effective at protecting children from measles, according to the CDC.

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

Wednesday's Times report, which cited anonymous sources, said it was not clear what exactly the grand jury inquiry overseen by federal prosecutors is focused on, or when it began.

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

Facebook responded by noting that other federal investigations are reportedly underway.

But the social network has always said that it was misled by Cambridge Analytica, describing its role in the scandal as having been too lax in policing how other companies were using its service.

The United States Department of Justice declined to comment on the report.

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