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Criminal investigation into Facebook deals with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft

15 March 2019

A Facebook spokesperson did not address the New York Times story specifically, but told CNN Business, "It has already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, including by the Department of Justice".

The Times report emerged on the same day that Facebook saw widespread outages on its apps, including Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

At this moment, it isnt clear what the criminal investigation is focusing and although Facebook declined to comment on The Times questions pertaining to the nature of the investigation, it did offer a statement that confirmed the investigation is indeed going on.

The company has been juggling a number of scandals and investigations since the Cambridge Analytica revelations almost a year ago. Facebook was also sued by Washington DC in late December for allowing Cambridge Analytica to obtain personal data of users without permission.

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The New York Times reports that a federal grand jury is investigating company partnerships that provided broad access to the information of millions of Facebook users.

The two companies are among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, that have entered into partnerships with Facebook for access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users, according to the report.

Facebook admitted in June that it provided dozens of tech companies with special access to user data after publicly saying it restricted such access in 2015. As we've said before, we are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously. Facebook did not respond to questions about the focus or nature of the investigation.

Most of those partnerships have ended over the last several years.

Criminal investigation into Facebook deals with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft