Facebook is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors for data dealings with some of the world’s largest technology companies, according to a Wednesday report.
“A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, according to two people who were familiar with the requests and who insisted on anonymity to discuss confidential legal matters,” the New York Times said. “Both companies had entered into partnerships with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.”
The report said that the Facebook partners subpoenaed are among 150 or so companies that purchased data from Facebook. The social network, better thought of as a data mine, allowed these companies access to private information of its users, sometimes without the consent of the users.
“It is not clear when the grand jury inquiry, overseen by prosecutors with the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York, began or exactly what it is focusing on,” the report said. “Facebook was already facing scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
Facebook is reportedly cooperating with investigators.
The tech giant is trying to shake off an abysmal 2018, which was riddled with scandals.
The company was outed for allowing Netflix and Spotify to read users’ “private messages,” and leaked millions of users’ photographs to third parties without the knowledge of the users. Facebook also allowed a third party to lift information from 87 million accounts in the most serious scandal in the company’s history.
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