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Xavier Becerra. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is taking Facebook to court to force it to turn over evidence for a newly revealed state investigation into the social network giant's privacy practices.

The big picture: The challenge adds one more layer of trouble for the beleaguered company, which already faces a slew of antitrust investigations and privacy probes in the U.S. and the EU.

Driving the news: In a filing with the San Francisco County Superior Court, Becerra says Facebook has failed to comply with subpoenas for documents and emails. The company's responses have been "patently inadequate," Becerra said at a Wednesday press conference.

  • "Among other things, we’ve asked for information regarding the effect of the company’s various privacy settings on third parties’ access to data, including which apps Facebook granted access to user data despite users restricting access to their information," Becerra said.

Details: The attorney general’s subpoena seeks communications among executives on:

  • Any consideration of the need to audit developers’ access to user data.
  • Third parties who received expanded access to the data.
  • The relationship between ad spending and access to data.

What they're saying:

  • Facebook "has not been fully responsive," Becerra said. "They have also failed to provide, or even search for, responsive documents among the emails of the company’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and its chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg."
  • “We have cooperated extensively with the State of California’s investigation," Will Castleberry, Facebook vice president of state and local policy, said in a statement. "To date, we have provided thousands of pages of written responses and hundreds of thousands of documents.”

Read the petition:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Anthony Coley to lead Justice Department public affairs

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, has tapped Anthony Coley, an Obama-era Treasury Department official, to serve as a senior adviser and to lead public affairs at the Department of Justice, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As the public face of the DOJ, Coley will help explain — and defend — the department's actions, from sensitive cases to prosecutorial decisions, including the investigation into Hunter Biden.

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Ysidro, California, in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.

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