According to a recent report from the New York Times, tech giant Facebook is under criminal investigation for a number of data deals with other major tech firms.
The New York Times recently reported that federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into social media giant Facebook’s data deals with other major tech firms. A grand jury in New York has reportedly subpoenaed records from two prominent smartphone developers, both of which had entered into data sharing partnerships with Facebook which gave them access to the personal details of hundreds of millions of Facebook users.
More than 150 companies entered a similar deal with Facebook, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Sony. These deals gave the companies access to users’ friends, contact information and other data, often without consent. Most of these partnerships have been phased out by Facebook over the past two years.
In a statement to the New York Times, a Facebook spokesperson said: “We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously. We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so.”
Facebook is already under scrutiny from the FTC and the SEC, this latest investigation will only put further pressure on the firm. The DOJ’s securities fraud unit began investigating Facebook shortly after the Cambridge Analytica scandal which saw the personal details of 87 million Facebook users left vulnerable, this case is still active and is being run by prosecutors from the Northern District of California.
In a Facebook post earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised that the social media platform would be more privacy-based in the future. Zuckerberg wrote in his post:
Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room. As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.
Zuckerberg stated that over “the next few years,” Facebook intends “to rebuild more of our services around these ideas.” Read the full post here.