US prosecutors probing Facebook's data deals

US prosecutors probing Facebook's data deals

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. For example, Yahoo's email service could access your friend list to help you find people you know.

The Times' report was released on Wednesday evening, while Facebook was dealing with a major outage.

Federal prosecutors are investigating data-sharing deals struck between Facebook and makers of mobile computing devices.

The Times reports that a NY grand jury subpoenaed two unidentified smartphone makers who are involved in data partnerships with Facebook allowing them access to the social network's two billion users.

Facebook has allegedly ended most of the partnerships over the past two years.

Despite these assurances, the partnerships are now the subject of a federal investigation.

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A grand jury in NY has subpoenaed information from at least two companies known for making smartphones and other devices, the newspaper reports, citing two unnamed people familiar with the request.

The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

When the grand jury investigation began and what it is focusing on are unclear, according to NYT. Facebook said in July it had received questions from US agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI, and was cooperating.

The probe constitutes a sharp escalation of Facebook's legal problems in the United States of America, where it is under scrutiny from four separate government agencies, including the U.S. justice department, as well as from legislators.

"We are co-operating with investigators and take those probes seriously", a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider.

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