Facebook says it has data-sharing partnerships with four Chinese electronics companies, which raises concern over users' privacy

"Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies, including a manufacturing giant that has a close relationship with China’s government, the social media company said on Tuesday. The agreements, which date to at least 2010, gave private access to some user data to Huawei...as well as to Lenovo, Oppo and TCL…"

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4 June 2018

Facebook Gave Data Access to Chinese Firm Flagged by U.S. Intelligence

Author: Michael LaForgia & Gabriel J.X. Dance, New York Times

Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies, including a manufacturing giant that has a close relationship with China’s government, the social media company said on Tuesday. The agreements, which date to at least 2010, gave private access to some user data to Huawei, a telecommunications equipment company that has been flagged by American intelligence officials as a national security threat, as well as to Lenovo, Oppo and TCL…Facebook gave access to the Chinese device makers along with other manufacturers — including Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung — whose agreements were disclosed by The New York Times on Sunday

Facebook officials said the agreements with the Chinese companies allowed them access …detailed information on both device users and all of their friends — including religious and political leanings, work and education history and relationship status…Facebook representatives said the data shared with Huawei stayed on its phones, not the company’s servers. Senator John Thune, the South Dakota Republican who leads the Commerce Committee, has demanded that Facebook provide Congress with details about its data partnerships…

“All Facebook’s integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL were controlled from the get-go — and Facebook approved everything that was built,” said Francisco Varela, a Facebook vice president. “Given the interest from Congress, we wanted to make clear that all the information from these integrations with Huawei was stored on the device, not on Huawei’s servers.”

…None of the Chinese device makers who have partnerships with Facebook responded to requests for comment on Tuesday.

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