Report: Facebook faces criminal probe for sharing user data

A grand jury has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent device OEMs that had data-sharing agreements with Facebook, according to the New York Times.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Federal prosecutors, according to the New York Times, have launched a criminal probe into Facebook's data-sharing practices that gave more than 150 other tech firms extensive access to user information, sometimes without consent.

A grand jury, overseen by prosecutors in the United States attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York, has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent device makers, two unnamed sources told the Times. The device makers are reportedly among the dozens that forged data-sharing agreements with Facebook that exempted them from standard privacy rules and allowed them to view users' friends, contact information and other data. Facebook has said it's put an end to most of the agreements.

In a statement to ZDNet, a Facebook spokesperson said, "It has already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, including by the Department of Justice. As we've said before, 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."

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