Facebook's data deals said to be under criminal investigation

/ CBS/AP

Facebook's data deals with major electronics manufacturers are under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors, the New York Times reports.

A grand jury in New York 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.

More than 150 companies had struck data partnerships with Facebook that gave them access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of users, although the data was sometimes shared without consent, the report said. The investigation comes as Facebook continues to struggle with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal.

Facebook describes those data deals as innocuous efforts to help smartphone makers provide Facebook features to users before the social network had its own app.

The Times reports that it is not clear when the inquiry began or exactly what it is focusing on. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

First published on March 14, 2019 / 8:28 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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