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Facebook shared access to Chinese electronics companies: report

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Published with Permission by Knowhere News

Social media giant Facebook shared its users’ data with at least four Chinese companies, according to the New York Times, including telecommunications giant Huawei, which has been identified as a national security threat by US intelligence services.

Facebook maintained partnerships that involved data sharing with Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL since as far back as 2010, according to the Times report.

Several lawmakers responded to the article by accusing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of misleading them during his testimony in front of Congress in April. Zuckerberg testified that the social media company had restricted data access to third parties in 2015.

“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,” said Senator Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

According to the Times, the data-sharing partnerships allowed devices made by the manufacturers to access personal information, such as work history, relationship status and likes, from the Facebook profiles of users and their friends.

Facebook officials said that no user data was ever saved on Huawei servers.

Facebook’s vice president of mobile partnerships, Francisco Varela, said in a statement that “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.”

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