New agencies join Facebook-Cambridge Analytica investigation, expand scope: report

New agencies join Facebook-Cambridge Analytica investigation, expand scope: report
© Greg Nash

A federal investigation into Facebook’s data sharing arrangements with Cambridge Analytica has broadened in both its scope and the agencies involved, according to The Washington Post.

The FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now have joined the Department of Justice (DOJ) in probing whether Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested the Facebook user data of 71 million Americans.

The investigation was previously only known to be focused on whether Facebook violated an agreement with the FTC in 2011 regarding sharing user data.

Details of the investigation beyond the FTC’s work have not been publicly released but sources The Washington Post spoke with said the emphasis of the expanded investigation has been about what Facebook has publicly revealed about what it shared with Cambridge Analytica and if those representations are accurate.

The investigation also is reportedly examining whether Facebook made “complete and timely” disclosures to the public and investors.

CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergDemocrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation Activists protest Facebook's 'failure' on disinformation with body bags outside DC office Budowsky: How Biden can defeat COVID-19 for good MORE’s and other company officials’ Capitol Hill testimony are reportedly being scrutinized as a part of the investigation.

Facebook’s public reputation has taken a hit since The Guardian first reported how Cambridge Analytica, a British research firm used by the Trump campaign, improperly obtained data on 87 million Facebook users in total.

Zuckerberg, testifying before lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and Facebook has since sent Congress hundreds of pages in answers to lawmaker’s follow-up questions. Many of the answers have rehashed bits of information that are already public, but in its most recent 700-page document dump, Facebook revealed data sharing partnerships it made with other apps.

The company also revealed a full list of other companies including telecommunications firms and device-makers it established data-sharing partnerships with.