It appears Facebook has been closing a lot of undercover business deals; unscrupulous business for that matter. Well, allegedly!
The U.S. federal government has started criminal investigations on Facebook over alleged data dealing with some of the big tech companies in the world. This development adds to a growing list of regulatory troubles facing the social network giant.
As first published by The New York Times, there has been a grand jury subpoena for records from two OEMs that show the smartphone companies enter into a contract with Facebook to access personal information for millions of users. In essence, Facebook is selling your data to the highest bidder.
These big tech companies coming to Facebook for your data include Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Sony among others. The social network did confirm it is under investigation to The Times in a statement saying:
“We are cooperating with investigations and take those probes seriously. We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged that we will continue to do so,” said a spokesperson from Facebook.
The criminal charges are being overseen by the Eastern District of New York’s U.S. attorney’s office. An office that has remained tight-lipped over the investigation, to the extent no independent sources can say exactly when the investigations began, what they are focusing on, and when a report should be tabled.
For Facebook, this latest investigation could not come to a worse time. The social network is already struggling to rebuild its image following accusation it sold data to Cambridge Analytica, which is just one of the high profile scandals it has been involved in.
The memory of Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg being grilled by the U.S. Congress is still fresh in people’s mind. That was shortly followed up by a delete Facebook campaign, which saw several high profile individuals and companies do away with their Facebook accounts and pages.
In short, Facebook has lately been brushing shoulders the wrong way with government regulatory agencies not just in America but Europe and the rest of the world. Forcing the company to go on a PR overdrive, which included Zuckerberg pledging a newfound privacy priority for the social network giant. Of course, that was quickly dismissed as a publicity stunt.
Before the news broke out that the federal government is investigating the social network over data sharing with other tech companies. The biggest news on Facebook was the secret agreement it has reached with the FTC for a billion dollar privacy violation fine from the Cambridge Analytica fiasco and the impact it had on the U.S. 2016 elections.