Facebook is being investigated over its data-sharing deals

Facebook is being investigated for sharing its users’ data with more than 150 major tech companies without their consent, according to a New York Times report.

At least two prominent smartphone manufacturers have been asked to submit records to a grand jury in New York, anonymous sources told the Times.

The records include details about how they used user data that they received under deals with the social media company.

Data-sharing deals

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

The deals helped the social media company gain more users, according to the report, and its partners were able to access user data, which Facebook says, were needed to build these features.

However, users did not know the extent of the information collected and shared, according to the Times.

It is understood that data shared without users’ knowledge allowed tech companies to view users’ friends, contact information and other data.

“It has already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, including by the Department of Justice,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Facebook’s response

“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.”

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a lengthy letter outlining his plans to build/rebuild its messaging service around privacy and ephemerality.

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