Facebook’s ‘Data Deal’ with Tech Companies Draws Legal Prosecution

Companies like Sony, Apple and Samsung have been reported to be taking user data from Facebook.

Published14 Mar 2019, 07:58 AM IST
Tech News
2 min read

The world’s largest social media platform, Facebook, has a target painted on itself and can’t seem to keep itself out of trouble these days. The Mark Zuckerberg-owned firm was responsible for one of the biggest data leaks and now it has found itself in another sticky situation where federal prosecutors are investigating Facebook’s data deals with other tech companies and smartphone makers, The New York Times reported.

According to The New York Times report, a jury has been conducting an investigation into the matter and has presented records from "at least two" large companies involved in the matter. Both these firms are smartphone makers.

These companies had struck a deal with Facebook to gain access to user data like friend list and contact information. All of this without the permission of the user.

A Facebook spokesperson speaking to The Verge said that “there are ongoing 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.”

The reports on these data exchanges were reported last year in June after The New York Times had discovered that Facebook was sharing user data with smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, Apple and BlackBerry.

The purpose for the data to be shared was cited by the company as a means to make applications for the company’s respective devices. This kind of integration was aimed at helping both Facebook and the device makers when people used to access Facebook products in these devices. There is still ambiguity around whether these companies are currently under investigation.

There is also a lot of uncertainty when the investigation in the matter had begun or when the grand jury was empaneled. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the Cambridge Analytica scandal for a while now where it was found that third-party apps had obtained the data of over 87 million Facebook users.

There have also been reports that the company is likely to face a multi-billion dollar fine because of this and other data breaches the company has been embroiled in.

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