Facebook Inc is under criminal investigation by U.S. federal prosecutors over data deals it struck with some of the world's largest technology companies, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg created the partnerships to stave off obsolescence and insulate the massive company from competition. For example, Yahoo's email service could access your friend list to help you find people you know.
The social network has been under scrutiny since the revelation in March that consultancy Cambridge Analytica had misused Facebook user data in the run-up to the 2016 United States presidential election.
According to the Times, Facebook's deals with more than 150 different companies let them "see users' friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent".
Facebook has defended the deals.
As part of the investigation, a NY grand jury has subpoenaed two well-known smartphone makers for records related to the investigation, according to the report.
Cavs Players Clown on Odell Beckham Jr.’s Move to Cleveland Browns
Gettleman made this move not even seven months after signing Beckham to a record five-year, $95 million contract. They have the Packers, Vikings and defending NFC champion Rams at home.
U.S. sees ‘urgency’ as UNSC takes up JeM resolution
The UN Security Council (UNSC) is expected to take up a resolution on March 13 that declares JeM chief a global terrorist. The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end at 3 PM local time on Wednesday (12:30 AM IST on Thursday).
Pakistan facing challenging situation on western border: FM Qureshi
"The FM assured me that Pakistan would deal firmly with all terrorists and will continue steps to de-escalate tensions with India", he said.
Despite these assurances, the partnerships are now the subject of a federal investigation.
The focus of the grand jury probe was not clear, nor was when it started, according to the Times, which cited unnamed sources.
Federal prosecutors are investigating data-sharing deals struck between Facebook and makers of mobile computing devices. Facebook is also facing a record-setting multibillion-dollar fine from the FTC for privacy violations, according to The Washington Post.
Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over its privacy practices, including ongoing investigations by the US Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and 2 state agencies in NY.
"We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
The report comes as the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission continue scrutinizing Facebook's business model.