Facebook is under criminal investigation for massive data deals between the social media giant and many of the world’s biggest technology firms, according to a Wednesday evening report on the New York Times.
Facebook confirmed the investigations in a statement.
“We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously,” a Facebook spokesman told the Times on Wednesday. “We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so.”
The exact focus of the investigation, however, remains unknown. Facebook did not respond to questions about the focus or nature of the investigation.
The Times reports that a New York grand jury subpoenaed two unidentified smartphone makers who are involved in data partnerships with Facebook allowing them access to the social network’s two billion users.
Last week, 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed that Facebook and other big tech giants should be broken up. That was the latest in a rising tide of calls for regulation and antitrust action against Silicon Valley.
The company is already under investigation by the Justice Department for its dealings with the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. There have also been reports that the company is negotiating a multi-billion dollar fine with the Federal Trade Commission over the company’s privacy failures. On the other side of the pond, European investigators are looking into a 2018 data breach in a probe that could end with fines of $1.63 billion.
“This episode has clearly hurt us,” Facebook CEO Zuckerberg told Congress last year while speaking about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. “We have to do a lot of work about building trust back.”
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