Report: Facebook data deals under criminal investigation

FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens in New York's Times Square. The New York Times reports Wednesday, March 13, 2019, that federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into Facebook's data deals with major electronics manufacturers. Facebook didn't respond to a request for comment. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — The New York Times reports that federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into Facebook's data deals with major electronics manufacturers.

The newspaper says a grand jury in New York has subpoenaed information from at least two companies known for making smartphones and other devices, citing two unnamed people familiar with the request. It reports that both companies had data partnerships with Facebook that gave them access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of users.

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.

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