Federal investigators are probing Facebook's data-sharing deals with other companies. A New York grand jury is reported to have subpoenaed "at least two" smartphone makers.
"Both companies had (…) broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users."
It's already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, incl. by the Dept of Justice. As we've said, we're cooperating w/ investigators and take those probes seriously. We've provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged that we'll continue to do so https://t.co/v3QkokZq2p
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) March 14, 2019
From Michael LaForgia, Matthew Rosenberg and Gabriel J.X. Dance at the New York Times:
The companies were among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with the world's dominant social media platform. The agreements, previously reported in The New York Times, let the companies see users' friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent. Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years.
"We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously," a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so."
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. Facebook was already facing scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. And the Justice Department's securities fraud unit began investigating it after reports that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, had improperly obtained the Facebook data of 87 million people and used it to build tools that helped President Trump's election campaign.
The Justice Department and the Eastern District declined to comment for this article.
The Cambridge investigation, still active, is being run by prosecutors from the Northern District of California. One former Cambridge employee said investigators questioned him as recently as late February. He and three other witnesses in the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity so they would not anger prosecutors, said a significant line of inquiry involved Facebook's claims that it was misled by Cambridge.
Facebook's pivot to privacy now making a little more sense https://t.co/pkptcD5wb4
— Ryan McCarthy (@mccarthyryanj) March 13, 2019
"We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can't, we don't deserve it."
— Mark Zuckerberghttps://t.co/mr8Ubxr9EV
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) March 13, 2019
Last weekend, I asked @ewarren to speculate: Should Facebook be investigated criminally?
It's no longer speculation.https://t.co/ufUl5Dl1Tz
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) March 13, 2019
FYI: "The Cambridge [Analytica] investigation, still active, is being run by prosecutors from the Northern District of California. One former Cambridge employee said investigators questioned him as recently as late February." https://t.co/6RxWdYqqqq
— Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) March 14, 2019
BOOM: Facebook's data deals are under criminal investigation related to #CambridgeAnalytica
(Yet to be reported anywhere: Cambridge Analytica's insolvency administrator is being taken to court in UK on Monday by me.) https://t.co/RlKArgZdpq
— David Carroll ? (@profcarroll) March 13, 2019
— Karissa Bell (@karissabe) March 13, 2019
?Federal prosecutors are conducting a CRIMINAL investigation into data deals #Facebook struck with tech companies that gave them broad access to user data, sometimes without consent.
A grand jury in NY has subpoenaed at least 2 smartphone makers.?https://t.co/JrYmADX1Ac
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) March 13, 2019