FaceBook Gave Data Access To Chinese Firms
Deal Made With Huawei, Phone Co Flagged by US Intel, Along With Lenovo, Oppo and TCL
Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four chinese electronics companies, including a manufacturing giant the has a close relationship with china's goverment, the social media company said on Tuesday june 2018.
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.
The Four Partnerships remain in effect, but facebook officials said in an interview that the company would wind down the Huawei deal by the end of the week.facebook gave access to the Chiness device makers along with other manufacturers including Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung whose agreements were disclosed by the New York Time on Sunday june 2018.
The Deals were part of an effort to push more mobile users onto the social network starting in 2007, before standalone facebook apps worked well on phones. the agreements allowed device makers to offer some facebook features such as address books, "like" buttons and status updates.Facebook officials said the agreements with the Chiness companies allowed them access similar to what was offered to Blackberry, which cloud retrieve datailed information on both devices users and all of their friends including religious and political leanings work and eduction history and relationship status.
Huawei used its private access to feed a "social phone" app that let users view messages and social media accounts in one place, according to the officials. Facebook representative 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. "Facebook is learning hard leassons that meaningful transparency is a high standard to meet," Thune said.His commitee also oversees the Federal Trade Commission, which is determine whether the comapny's data policies violate a 2011 consent decree with the commission.
Senator Mark Warner of Virginia pointed out that concerns about Huawei were not new, citing a 2012 congressional report on the "close relationships between the Chinese Communist Party and equipment marks like huawei." "I look forward to learning more about how facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to chinese servers" said Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee.
"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 Congrees, we wanted to make clear that all the information from these integrations with Huawei was stored on the device, not on Huawei's servers."
Banned in China since 2009,Facebook in recent years has quietly sought to re-establish itself chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has tried to cultivate a relationship with china's president, Xi jinping and put in an appearance at one of the country's top universities.
Last Year,Facebook released a photo sharing app in China that was a mear replica of its Moments app, but did not put it's name on it. And the Company has worked on a tool that allowed targeted censorship,prompting some employes to quit over the project.
Still, Facebook has struggled to gain momentum, and in january an executive in charge of courting china's goverment left after spending three years on a charm campagin to get the social media services back in the country. None of the Chiness device markers who have partnerships with Facebook responded to requests for comment on Tuesday june 2018.