Facebook’s data deals with Microsoft, Apple and Amazon under grand jury scrutiny

Facebook’s 150 personal information sharing contracts with tech companies is now under a grand jury scrutiny. Question is can you ever trust Facebook?

As per a report by the New York Times, U.S. federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal probe into data deals that Facebook Inc entered into with some of the world’s largest tech companies.

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, states the NY Times citing sources familiar with the requests and without naming the companies.

According to the report, among the 150 companies are Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com. Their deal with Facebook includes accessing the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.

Facebook continues to face a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over its privacy practices, including ongoing investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Apart from scrutinizing the data deals, the investigation into Facebook’s business practices also focuses on disclosures made by FB on its 87 million user data set that it shared with British consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked with U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign.

On its part FB said, it was cooperating with investigators in multiple federal probes; it did not specifically address the grand jury inquiry.

“We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged that we will continue to do so,” said Facebook in a statement.

So far, Facebook has defended its data-sharing deals, which was first reported in December, saying none of its partnerships gained access to user’s personal data without their permission.

As per a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said, he is not in a position to either confirm or deny the probe.

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