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US probing Facebook data deals with tech firms

Agency | March 14, 2019 01:08 PM

SAN FRANCISCO:  Facebook is facing criminal investigation in the US for the data deals it had entered into with smartphone makers and other technology giants, The New York Times reported.

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two smartphone makers that had entered into partnerships with the social media giant, said the report on Wednesday citing unnamed sources.

These two companies were among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of millions of its users.

Facebook earlier reportedly admitted that it had shared users' data with embattled Chinese company Huawei along with three other China-based smartphone makers Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

These agreements allowed the companies to see users' friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent.

Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years, The New York Times report said.

"We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously," a Facebook spokesman was quoted as saying in a statement.

"We've provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so."

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