California AG Xavier Becerra to Facebook: Turn over privacy documents

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SAN FRANCISCO – California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra asked a state court to force Facebook to turn over documents he says it has withheld from an ongoing probe into the social media giant’s privacy practices including the mishandling of tens of millions of users’ personal information in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

At a press conference, Beccera accused Facebook of stonewalling subpoenas from his office and thwarting his investigation into whether the company violated its users’ privacy and California law. He declined to discuss the specifics of the investigation.

“Facebook has not been responsive to our legal requests for information,” he said. “Any time we engage in an investigation and we issue lawful subpoenas and requests for information, we hope the subjects of those subpoenas will respond.”

In this Sept. 18, 2019, file photo California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, speaks next to Gov. Gavin Newsom during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. Newsom requested Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, that state Becerra investigate whether the retail gasoline industry is engaging in false advertising or price fixing to charge drivers more at the pump.

Facebook could not be immediately reached for comment.

Wednesday’s filing in San Francisco Superior Court is just the latest fallout from a string of privacy mishaps that have fueled public outrage and a backlash against big tech. Facebook was fined a record-setting $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission after a year-long probe prompted by the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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Becerra has remained largely silent as bipartisan scrutiny of the top tech companies intensifies in Washington and statehouses around the country. 



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