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US Probing Facebook Data Deals With Tech Firms: Report

Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years, The New York Times report said

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Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Facebook is facing criminal investigation in the US for the data deals it had entered into with smartphone makers and other technology giants, The New York Times reported.

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two smartphone makers that had entered into partnerships with the social media giant, said the report on Wednesday citing unnamed sources.

These two companies were among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of millions of its users.

Facebook earlier reportedly admitted that it had shared users’ data with embattled Chinese company Huawei along with three other China-based smartphone makers Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

These agreements allowed the companies to see users’ friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent.

Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years, The New York Times report said.

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“We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously,” a Facebook spokesman was quoted as saying in a statement.

“We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so.” (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Loses its Place Among the World’s 10 Most Valuable Brands

Only 28 per cent of Facebook users believed the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 per cent

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Hit by privacy scandals and year-round investigations, Facebook has lost its place among the world’s 10 most valuable brands in global brand consultancy Interbrand’s annual ranking of best top 100 brands.

Facebook fell to the 14th spot. Two years back, the social networking giant was at the eighth spot in the list, billed as a “rapidly appreciating” brand.

Apple led the top 100 best brands’ list, followed by Google and Amazon. Microsoft was the fourth, Coca Cola fifth and Samsung came sixth on the list.

The seventh spot was grabbed by Toyota, Mercedes was the eighth, McDonald’s ninth and Disney was at the 10th spot.

Pitching for breaking up Facebook, US-based software giant Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has called the social networking platform “new cigarettes” which are making kids addictive. Benioff said that the company must be held accountable now.

Several US lawmakers like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have also been pitching to break up Facebook.

Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 40 state attorneys general in the US have decided to join probe against Facebook’s anti-competitive business practices.

Facebook this year agreed to pay $5 billion as a settlement to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privacy violations.

According to a survey by independent research firm Ponemon Institute in 2018, users’ confidence in Facebook plunged by 66 per cent after Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users.

Also Read: Apple Users can Now Report Accidents, Traffic on Google Maps

Only 28 per cent of Facebook users believed the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 per cent.

“We found that people care deeply about their privacy and when there is a mega data breach, as in the case of Facebook, people will express their concern. And some people will actually vote with their feet and leave,” Ponemon said in a statement. (IANS)