Facebook faces criminal probe into data deals: NYT


Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc.

Facebook is facing a criminal probe into data-sharing deals it arranged with at least two other technology companies, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

At least two companies that make smartphones and other devices have received subpoenas from a New York grand jury related to how they used Facebook user data that they received under deals with the social networking company. The companies were not named in the report.

These deals, which have mostly been discontinued, allowed people to access their Facebook accounts, or specific Facebook features, on platforms from other companies, including Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones.

In exchange, the platform providers got data about the users necessary to make these functions work. However, users did not always know the extent of the information collected and shared, according to the Times.

Facebook defended the deals after a Times report in December, noting that the data was shared to provide users with specific features — not for advertisers — and that they were publicized and scrutinized at the time.

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