The probe will focus on partnerships Facebook established with more than 150 companies to give them special access to users’ data, according to the New York Times.
What happened: A New York grand jury has ordered two companies that had partnerships with Facebook to hand over records. Much is unclear at this stage: the names of the companies, when proceedings began, or what exactly the focus will be. But given the subpoenas, prosecutors seem to be looking at special arrangements Facebook made with companies to give them access to users’ data (sometimes without consent), despite platform changes in 2014 that restricted the practice. This data included people’s friends and their contact information.
A lawsuit pile-up: It’s yet another launch of legal proceedings against Facebook, which is currently facing probes by the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The US Justice Department’s fraud unit is also investigating the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
A bad day: In separate news, Facebook also experienced its biggest outage since 2008 yesterday, intermittently knocking its website, app, Instagram, and WhatsApp offline for hours. The company is yet to explain why, apart from saying it is not the result of a cyberattack.
Sign up here to our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.
This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting
With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.
VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence
On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.
This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine
Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.
This artist is dominating AI-generated art. And he’s not happy about it.
Greg Rutkowski is a more popular prompt than Picasso.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.