It is said that Facebook gave access to their user data to device manufacturer Huawei which is on the Pentagon’s ‘no-buy list’ due to the close connections between the company and the Chinese government. Many reports are out after the Cambridge Analytica Scandal that many users had already lost trust in the company and it has been clear to that company’s protection of the customer data was not up to the mark, this latest news appears to be another example of this.
Huawei is one of the mobile manufacturers that have built one of the Google’s Nexus Devices. The New York Times posted that Facebook has been sharing the data of its users with a large number of device vendors since the last decade. The reports also suggested that the company has been providing a significant amount of user data to the vendors. Unsurprisingly Facebook has issued a blog post refuting what The New York Times has published. Facebook has also advised that the reason for this data sharing was the past lack of proper app stores in the mobile device ecosystems and the only way to access the functions of the mobile device was to call the device specific API functions. They also added that – “We didn’t notice any kind of abuse by this companies.”
This data sharing violates the 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission stating that the companies can no longer share the data with outside firms without the express consent of the user.
A report from Washington Post noted that Chinese network equipment manufacturer Huawei got special access to the Facebook’s user data and it is one of the companies that Trump’s administration has blacklisted in order to protect the privacy of the US Citizens.
An investigation from the US government has not found any evidence that the company is spying on its consumers. Facebook has similar deals will Lenovo, Oppo and TCL which raises new concerns about the privacy of the user data in the platform.
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