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Facebook Says It Gave 4 Chinese Companies Access

One of which was Huawei, which has lawmakers unnerved
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2018 10:10 AM CDT
In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg departs after testifying before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about data privacy and the use of Facebook...   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – Days after the New York Times came out with a report alleging that Facebook improperly let other companies have access to users' personal information comes a follow-up from the Times that reports the group included four Chinese companies—one of which US intelligence has identified as a possible national security threat. That company is smartphone maker Huawei; the others are Lenovo, Oppo, and TCL, and the deals they have with Facebook date to 2010 and are still active, though the Huawei one won't be by week's end. Facebook itself was the source for this latest Times' story, and it explains that the companies' deal was akin to BlackBerry's, meaning they had access to information on a user's friends without their consent. That data allowed Huawei to power an app that rounded up social media and other messages in one location.

Facebook says the data was stored on the device, not on Chinese servers. A rep for Huawei tells the AP the company "worked with Facebook" but "has never collected or stored any Facebook user data." Per Axios, lawmakers are wringing their hands over the report, and Mike Allen explains what DC and Facebook just don't "get": Politicians don't understand these partnerships "were pretty standard at the time ... nor were they a secret." But Facebook doesn't seem to comprehend just how low its credibility is in DC, especially regarding data privacy: "Throw Huawei's name in the mix and things go from toxic to radioactive." The Washington Post reports Huawei allegedly has ties to the Chinese government, stoking fears China could access communications via the devices; the Pentagon now bars the sale of the company's smartphones on US military bases. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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