The FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission have joined the Justice Department in the federal probe into Facebook’s sharing of data with the now shutdown political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica.
The investigation is centered on what Facebook knew in 2015 — when it first learned that Cambridge Analytica had been building voter profiles — and why it didn’t share this information with users or investors at the time, according to sources for the Washington Post. Facebook only revealed Cambridge Analytica’s harvesting of data without users’ consent in March 2018.
The government is also said to be concerned about discrepancies in more recent versions of the scandal, including whether Facebook officials like CEO Mark Zuckerberg were fully honest in their Senate testimony.
“We are cooperating with officials in the U.S., U.K. and beyond,” said a Facebook spokesman, Matt Steinfeld. “We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues.”
A 2015 quiz app developed by Cambridge Analytica and Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan collected data not only about Facebook users who took the quiz, but also their connected friends on the social network, allowing CA to build voter profiles for approximately 71 million U.S. residents.
While Facebook says CA violated the social network’s policies, the consulting firm and Kogan say they have done nothing wrong, and that other companies collected data in the same manner.