The investigation comes after it was reported earlier this month that Facebook's email verification process, which asked some users for their email passwords, resulted in the company "unintentionally" scraping the email contacts lists of 1.5 million users.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced an investigation into Facebook on Thursday over its harvesting of email contacts for up to 1.5 million users, adding to the mounting legal and regulatory worries for the social media service.
Yet, New York's attorney general is suggesting that the total number of consumers whose information was improperly obtained may be in the hundreds of millions.
Facebook claims it is deleting the offending address book data and says it has notified people who had their contacts copied.
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The New York Attorney General's office also said it is time that Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers' personal data.
The FTC has been investigating revelations that Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million of its users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
The Irish data protection authority will probe Facebook under the European GDPR data protection law, which could lead to hefty fines.
On Wednesday, Facebook said it had set aside $3 billion to cover a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission over privacy issues.
Experts have told Business Insider that they believe Facebook's actions in harvesting the 1.5 million users' email contact data may be illegal - suggesting it could violate the 2011 FTC consent decree, European Union data privacy law GDPR, and potentially even the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Once the password is entered, a message would prompt that the user's contact was being imported, without any permission, reported Business Insider.