The California attorney general says he has been investigating Facebook's privacy practices
Research on Facebook privacy practices
Attorney General Xavier Becerra offered few details about the investigation and said he was revealing it just because his office was making a presentation before a public court to force Facebook to answer the subpoenas.
According to the presentation, it took Facebook a year to fully respond to an initial citation in June 2018 related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Then, the attorney general requested more information, including communications between executives related to developers' access to user data and privacy-related news.
Facebook "generally refuses to answer the interrogations or comply with the citation," the presentation said, adding that the company has refused to search for emails from senior executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg in response to the second citation.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The research is about Facebook's practices related to privacy, disclosures and third party access to user data. The state is investigating whether Facebook violated California law by cheating users and misrepresenting privacy practices. Authorities say the investigation began in early 2018 in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but it has expanded.
The court filing says that Facebook has not answered 19 of the attorney general's questions and has not given any new documents in response to six requests for documents. The presentation says that Facebook is not only dragging its feet, but not complying with citations and questions.
California had not joined a separate investigation involving prosecutors general of New York and other states. The New York investigation is investigating Facebook's dominance and any resulting anti-competitive behavior.
California is also an obstacle in a separate investigation into Google’s market dominance.
The Federal Trade Commission recently fined Facebook with $ 5 billion for privacy violations, although the sanction was criticized by consumer advocates and several public officials for being too lenient.