As part of the investigation, a NY grand jury has subpoenaed two well-known smartphone makers for records related to the investigation, according to the report. According to the report, which was published in December, "Facebook allowed Microsoft's Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users' friends without consent. and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users' private messages".
"We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress in April 2018. At the time, the company strongly disputed that these data partnerships violated users' privacy or the company's 2012 settlement with the FTC. Federal prosecutors have been looking into the social media giant's deals with more than 150 firms to share data on hundreds of millions of users.
But the social network has always said that it was misled by Cambridge Analytica, describing its role in the scandal as having been too lax in policing how other companies were using its service.
The exact focus of the investigation, however, remains unknown.
The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York City, U.S., February 14, 2019. Apple, for example, was able to slurp up contact numbers and calendar entries from users who thought they'd disabled all sharing, unbeknownst to the users - though Apple maintains it had no idea Facebook had given it special access and that it removed no data from users' devices.
Facebook's data sharing deals are coming under hard scrutiny by American federal investigators. Facebook did not respond to questions about the focus or nature of the investigation.
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