Facebook Confirms It Shares Data With at Least Four Chinese Companies

By Reuters

Facebook confirmed Tuesday it shares data with at least four Chinese companies.

That includes Huawei, the world’s number-three maker of smartphones.

It’s also a company that United States intelligence agencies have focused on over concerns of national security.

Facebook said that it also shares data with Oppo, TCL, and Lenovo. All four relationships are still in effect for now; however, Facebook says it’s winding down ties with Huawei this week.

They were just four out of sixty companies worldwide that Facebook had granted access to user data beginning in 2007.

The list of companies also included the likes of Apple, Blackberry, and Samsung.

It was all meant to offer Facebook-style features on phones before the days when stand-alone Facebook apps actually worked well.

After the New York Times reported on the practice Sunday, members of Congress raised concerns that the data of users’ friends may have been accessed without consent.

Facebook denied that’s happening.

The company also says it’s already ended more than half of the partnerships and all of the Chinese deals will end.

A Facebook executive also said the company had carefully managed the access it gave to Chinese companies and said information used in these tie-ups was stored on Huawei devices—not Huawei servers.

U.S. intelligence agencies have voiced concerns for years that Chinese telecom firms help foreign espionage and threaten American infrastructure, which Beijing denies.

In May, the Pentagon ordered retail outlets on bases in the United States to stop selling phones made by Huawei saying they were a security risk.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said in a statement “I look forward to learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers.”

 

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