Facebook's data transactions are under criminal investigation



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Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into Facebook's data transactions with some of the world's largest technology companies, stepping up control of the social media giant's business practices as it seeks to bounce back from a year-long scandal and setbacks.

A New York grand jury has summoned documents from at least two leading smartphone and device manufacturers, according to two people who knew the requests and who insisted that the legal issues remain confidential. Both companies had partnerships with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of users.

The companies were part of more than 150 companies, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, which had shared agreements with the world's leading social media platform. The agreements, previously reported in the New York Times, allow businesses to view users' friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent. Facebook has eliminated most of the partnerships in the last two years.

"We cooperate with the investigators and take these investigations seriously," a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. "We have provided public testimony, answered questions and made the commitment to continue to do so."

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