Facebook Facing Criminal Investigation Into Device Data Share Deals

Mark Zuckerberg on stage at Facebook's F8 Conference 2014

Facebook under criminal investigation over data sharing with tech firms - report

US federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook Inc struck with some of the world's largest technology companies, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Facebook said in a statement to the New York Times that it is cooperating with investigators. Customers for that reportedly included Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, each of whom had agreements to see user friends, contact information and other data without consent.

Manufacturers of mobile devices got an especially sweet deal, according to internal Facebook documents seen by the Times. Both of the companies were given access to the personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users.

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

Facebook has defended the deals.

The social media giant acknowledged the report in a tweet, saying that it is already facing federal investigations.

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The deals sparked outrage - and have come under sharp scrutiny - since they were revealed in a investigation by the Times a year ago. Facebook did not respond to questions about the focus or nature of the investigation.

The investigation is being overseen by United States attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York, and a grand jury has been convened, The NY Times reports that the focus of the investigation remains unclear for now.

"This episode has clearly hurt us", Facebook CEO Zuckerberg told Congress past year while speaking about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, the justice department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have all been previously reported.

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