Facebook Facing Criminal Investigation Into Device Data Share Deals

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

Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over its privacy practices, including ongoing investigations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and two state agencies in NY.

The criminal investigation adds to a laundry list of probes since the Cambridge Analytica revelations one year ago placed a spotlight on the company's data and privacy practices.

According to the sources, both of these companies had partnerships with Facebook that granted them access to the personal information of its users.

Those companies were among 150 with sharing deals that allowed them to see user contact information and other data.

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Other investigators have already been scrutinizing Facebook regarding other matters, including its relationship with Cambridge Analytic, the political firm that nefariously harvested user data and worked with the Trump campaign.

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

Federal prosecutors are investigating data-sharing deals struck between Facebook and makers of mobile computing devices. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so".

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

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Much is unclear at this stage: the names of the companies, when proceedings began, or what exactly the focus will be.

"We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously", a Facebook spokesman told the Times on Wednesday.

The probe constitutes a sharp escalation of Facebook's legal problems in the U.S., where it is under scrutiny from four separate government agencies, including the United States justice department, as well as from legislators.

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