Microsoft, Amazon, Spotify or Netflix were four of the 150 technology companies with which the social network shared the private data of users without their permission to improve the advertising business New York federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Facebook’s practices of sharing users’ personal data without their consent, with other companies, according to ” The New York Times ” on Wednesday.
It was at the end of 2018 when a new scandal sprang up that it splashed the company that Mark Zuckerberg runs. Microsoft, Amazon, Spotify or Netflix were four of the 150 technology companies with which the social network shared the personal data of users, information that was exclusively disclosed in the same newspaper.
The goal of Facebook with this massive filtration was to improve the advertising business. Netflix and Spotify, for example, had access to user messages in Messenger to “suggest movies, TV shows and music.” But this commercialization of the private life of those who have an account in the social network went even further. So much so that Amazon, Yahoo, and Huawei also collaborated to, as a result of the shared data, develop complex models of networks of friends and suggest more connections.
Now, a grand jury in New York has officially demanded that ” at least two major manufacturers of ‘smartphones’ ” also provide their information on this subject, which would involve hundreds of millions of users. The purpose of this case is to clarify how Facebook negotiated with companies access to private data of users without their prior consent.
The investigations, which have been unveiling in recent months, suggest that the popular social network, which has 2,300 million users in the world, shares or has shared a large amount of personal data with other technology companies , among which There are mobile manufacturers, for example, so that their services are compatible with their operating systems. And it is that everything points to the major mobile manufacturers, such as Microsoft, Apple or Samsung, would also be involved in the scandal, with Spotify, Amazon or Netflix.
Facebook defends itself
The question that arises the investigation now is whether this practice has been done transparently for users. Being a criminal investigation, which started just a few days ago, Zuckerberg does not face only economic sanctions.
“It has already been reported that federal investigations are ongoing, including by the Department of Justice. As we said before, we are cooperating with researchers and we take all this seriously. We have given public testimony, answered questions and we promise that we will continue to do so, “Facebook said in a statement.
Facebook is in full controversy about the use of personal data of users since the Cambridge Analytica scandal a year ago. Elected officials, regulators and researchers from around the world are investigating whether the company has hidden details in its practices when exchanging data.
In the US alone, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the Ministry of Justice, are investigating the data management practices of Facebook users.
The FTC has already confirmed that it has opened a non-public investigation into the practices that Facebook uses to manage the privacy of its users. In fact, Zuckerberg is negotiating a multi-million dollar fine, which could be historic, with the Federal Trade Commission following the filtering of Cambridge Analytica.
The personal information of tens of millions of users had been unknowingly in the hands of the British firm Cambridge Analytica, which specializes in data analysis, and which worked in 2016 for the campaign of Republican candidate Donald Trump, who became president of the United States.
Facebook runs the risk of civil and criminal prosecution, including significant fines, among other penalties. Only the FTC, could impose a fine of 2,000 million dollars.