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Facebook's Data Deals to be investigated by Federal Authorities

Facebook's Data Deals to be investigated by Federal Authorities

The social media giant’s association with some smartphone companies, has come under criminal investigation

Privacy concerns on social media platforms have evoked many debates in recent times. Facebook has always been surrounded by allegations of misusing private user information. The Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal, confirmed that the doubts regarding online privacy, stemmed from reasonable arguments, and the company has been under the scanner ever since. In a new turn of events, federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into Facebook’s data deals with other tech companies.

After the setbacks of 2018, Facebook began attempts at maintaining greater transparency, and tried adopting stricter online security measures. However, the past has caught up with them as government authorities are trying to discern the exact magnitude of Facebook's wrongdoings. A grand jury in New York, has stated that they have subpoenaed records from at least two of the world’s most prominent smartphone makers, which state that Facebook gave them extensive access to private information of millions of users.

The investigations thus far have revealed that Facebook let these companies access a user's friend list, personal contact information, and other private data, without any proper consent from the individual. The authorities state that more than 150 companies, including big names such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and many others, entered a deal with the social media company, to access the private user data.

These developments suggest Facebook is looking at a murky future as the federal prosecutors continue their investigations into the matter. However, it was also found that Facebook gradually phased out most of these data partnerships, over the course of past two years, possibly owing to a greater awareness and sensitivity among the masses, regarding online privacy rights.

“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.” A Facebook spokesperson said in their official statement on March 13, 2019.

Kavya Borgaonkar
Kavya Borgaonkar,

Kavya Borgaonkar
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