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Facebook is under criminal investigation for a series of controversial data-sharing deals it signed with other major tech companies, according to reports.

"We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously", a Facebook spokesman told the Times on Wednesday. It reports that both companies had data partnerships with Facebook that gave them access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of users. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so".

Facebook confirmed the investigations in a statement.

They would, however, hoover up data of people who hadn't signed up for this, even allowing users to view data they wouldn't have access to when using the regular Facebook app.

Social media platform Facebook, Inc. The federal investigation in NY, meanwhile, adds to other ongoing investigations of Facebook, including probes by the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. But a criminal investigation would raise the stakes significantly.

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Much is unclear at this stage: the names of the companies, when proceedings began, or what exactly the focus will be.

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

Facebook had data-sharing arrangements with more than 150 companies, according to a December report in the New York Times. A grand jury investigation is "serious" and suggests the company as a long way to go to regain the trust of users after two years of privacy and security-related scandals, CNBC said. At the time, the company strongly disputed that these data partnerships violated users' privacy or the company's 2012 settlement with the FTC.

The United States Department of Justice declined to comment on the report.


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