Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Facebook Facing Criminal Investigation Into Device Data Share Deals

Facebook Facing Criminal Investigation Into Device Data Share Deals

Manufacturers of mobile devices got an especially sweet deal, according to internal Facebook documents seen by the Times.

The Times reports that it is not clear when the inquiry began or exactly what it is focusing on.

Earlier this year, reports suggested that Facebook could be hit with the biggest fine ever handed down by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had mined the information of up to 87 million users without their consent.

What happened: A NY grand jury has ordered two companies that had partnerships with Facebook to hand over records.

The company has been juggling a number of scandals and investigations since the Cambridge Analytica revelations almost a year ago. Facebook said in July it had received questions from US agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI, and was cooperating.

Federal prosecutors are investigating data-sharing deals struck between Facebook and makers of mobile computing devices.

The social media giant acknowledged the report in a tweet, saying that it is already facing federal investigations. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so".

In December, following the Times report, Facebook said in a blog entry that these partnerships were necessary to enable certain social features in outside apps, like logging into a Facebook account from a Windows phone, or sharing what Spotify song you were listening to via Facebook Messenger.

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

"This episode has clearly hurt us", Facebook CEO Zuckerberg told Congress previous year while speaking about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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