California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that Facebook has refused to cooperate with his requests for information related to a newly disclosed probe into whether the company deceived users about its privacy practices. Facebook answered a June 2018 subpoena but has not provided material in response to a second one filed June 2019. Becerra’s office wrote that Facebook “is failing to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas and interrogatories,” in particular alleging the company won’t search the emails of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Facebook said it had “cooperated extensively” and provided “hundreds of thousands of documents” to the attorney general’s office. The same day Becerra made his announcement, NBC published a cache of court documents that showed Zuckerberg using consumer data as a bargaining chip with partners and rivals.
Becerra is far from alone: 47 other states are conducting a joint probe into Facebook’s data protection practices. The company reached a $5 billion settlement with the FTC over consumer deception.