Facebook Confesses that they handed over Privileged Access to User Data to Chinese OEMs Huawei, Oppo & more
On Monday we posted a report titled "New York Times Exposes Facebook's agreement to share deep well of user data with more than 60 device makers including Apple." The New York Times reported that "As Facebook sought to become the world's dominant social media service, it struck agreements allowing phone and other device makers access to vast amounts of its users' personal information." Today we're learning more about who was receiving user data and it's disturbing.
Late yesterday Facebook said it had data sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese companies including Huawei, the world's third largest smartphone maker, which has come under scrutiny from U.S. intelligence agencies on security concerns.
More specifically, Francisco Varela, vice president of mobile partnerships for Facebook, said in a statement: "Facebook's integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL were controlled from the get-go — and we approved the Facebook experiences these companies built."
Chinese telecommunications companies have come under scrutiny from U.S. intelligence officials who argue they provide an opportunity for foreign espionage and threaten critical U.S. infrastructure, something the Chinese have consistently denied.
Senator Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who asked Facebook if Huawei was among the companies that received user data, said in a statement that the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee had raised concerns about Huawei dating back in 2012.
"The news that Facebook provided privileged access to Facebook's API to Chinese device makers like Huawei and TCL raises legitimate concerns, and 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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