According to a recent report from The New York Times, Facebook data deals with major electronics manufacturers are currently under criminal prosecution. The NYT report concludes that federal prosecutors are probing into Facebook’s data deals with major electronics manufacturers under criminal prosecution.
A grand jury in New York has reportedly summoned information from at least two firms associated with the manufacturing of smartphones and other devices, the NYT report cited two unnamed people familiar with the request.
Both the undisclosed companies were indulged with Facebook over data deals. As part of this deal, both the companies were given access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of users.
Facebook describes those data deals as harmless efforts to help smartphone makers provide their users with Facebook features to users before Facebook had its own mobile app. According to The Times report, it is not clear when the inquiry has already begun or exactly what it is focusing on.
Facebook is yet to comment on these reports.
Earlier this year, a report claimed that Facebook thought of selling users' data to third-parties in 2012 but later chose to act against it. According to a report citing the unredacted court document, Facebook decided to grant third-parties access to its Graph API that collects a vast amount of users' personal information, for at least $250,000.
Facebook's Graph API was an underlying issue in Cambridge Analytica data scandal last year.
The report had claimed that Facebook provided several companies including Nissan, Royal Bank of Canada, Chrysler/FiatLyft, Airbnb, Netflix etc. with extended access to Graph API v 1.0. Facebook's spokesperson was quoted as saying that Chrysler/Fiat and the other companies, besides Nissan and Royal Bank of Canada, were listed incorrectly in the court document.
The report came after the British Parliament obtained internal Facebook documents from Six4Three, a US-based software company that sued Facebook over violation of the contract in 2015. Facebook, in response, defended itself saying that claims made by Six4Three's have no merit, and Facebook will continue to defend itself "vigorously".
(With AP inputs)