The Sidney Morning Herald
Date: 6 June 2018
By Michael LaForgia and Gabriel J.X. Dance
New York: 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 US intelligence officials as a national security threat, as well as to Lenovo, Oppo and TCL.
Facebook rejects claims by the New York Times that it had allowed Apple and other major
device makers “deep” access to users’ personal data.
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.
Hauwei has been the subject of concern by Australia’s intelligence agencies in recent years.
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.
The deals gave Facebook an early foothold in the mobile market starting in 2007, before stand-alone Facebook apps worked well on phones, and allowed device-makers to offer some Facebook features, such as address books, “like” buttons and status updates.
Facebook officials said the agreements with the Chinese companies allowed them access similar to what was offered to BlackBerry, which could retrieve detailed information on both device users and all of their friends — including work and education history, relationship status and likes.
Facebook officials said the data shared with Huawei stayed on its phone, not the company’s servers. [FULL STORY]